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A Deeper Look Inside Sin City - Part II

Published February 6, 2005 in MOVIE NEWS
By Ryan Parsons | Images from the Sin City graphic novels by Frank Miller.
Sin City An introduction into the world of Sin City. *available at Amazon
This is Part II of a four part series, 'A Deeper Look Inside Sin City', that attempts to get inside the Sin City movie by covering all three graphic novels included in the film adaptation. Sin City, the movie, covers the original Sin City novel, plus The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard. While Part I covered is the original Sin City, which features the story about Marv, Part II will discuss That Yellow Bastard, the story of the retired police officer named Hartigan, who goes against the Roark family by attempting to stop 'Junior' from raping an eleven year old girl named Nancy [older Nancy will be played by Jessica Alba]. All Sin City novels were written by Frank Miller.

A Look Inside Sin City and Hartigan


First off, the Sin City trailer does a hell of a job portraying Hartigan [I said the exact same thing about Marv in Part I]. While reading the graphic novel, and witnessing the high contrast drawings, I can only find one discrepancy for Hartigan [Bruce Willis] in the Sin City film. Even though Bruce Willis does fit the look of Hartigan, he still looks a little too young to play the aged police officer. Hartigan, in Sin City- That Yellow Bastard, is suppose to be easily over 70. And, like most of Frank Miller's Sin City heroes, Hartigan has a 'hulk' style presence. In the Sin City trailer, Bruce Willis does not look that big.


If you have seen the Sin City trailer [on the movie page above], you get an introduction to Hartigan and his adventures against the guy who is yellow ['Junior' played by Nick Stahl]. If you couldn't get the jist of Hartigan [which is much harder than Marv, whom the trailer revolves around], here is a brief summary of the 'event' that surrounds Hartigan's story:

  • Sin City: That Yellow Bastard begins with Hartigan retiring as a respectable police officer. However, he has recently heard news that the son of Roark, 'Junior', has kidnapped another young girl-- Nancy Callahan. 'Junior' is known for raping these girls and then killing them by cutting them into pieces.
  • The police force is entirely in Roark's pocket. However, considering that Hartigan has just retired, he sees an opportunity to take vigilanty justice by killing 'Junior' and saving Nancy.
  • Hartigan kills some security and soon catches up with 'Junior'. The fight ends with 'Junior' in a coma, Hartigan in the hospital, and Nancy Callahan saved. Hartigan was shot in the back by his own partner, who feared the consequences if Roark's son were to die by the hand of a police officer.
  • Hartigan is waken up in the hospital bed by Roark, who threatens that he will kill Nancy if Hartigan tries to go against the fake story that the police already have on him [from Hartigan's partner]. Hartigan goes to prison for assaulting Nancy, something Nancy did not want him to do. But, Hartigan knew he had to protect Nancy.
  • Sin City There is a lot of graphic drawings, including nudity, within Sin City.
  • During his eight years in prison, Hartigan receives a letter from Nancy every day. However, one day the letters stop and, instead, Hartigan gets visited by a guy who is yellow. With the visit, Hartigan also receives an envelope that has a finger in it; a finger he assumes is Nancy's. Hartigan makes an agreement with Roark and must go in front of a committee to get released from prison [something he had refused to do].
  • Now Hartigan must find Nancy and make sure she is all right.


  • So this begins the story of Hartigan, a respectable police officer who got a shitty break after he decided to go up against the man-- Roark. Hartigan, like most Sin City characters, can be just as much a gentleman as he is ruthless. An example being that Hartigan enjoys shooting testicles off of his male foes. However, Hartigan is much different from Marv [Part I]. Where Marv was ruthless in the name of vengeance, Hartigan is ruthless in the name of justice.

    A Look Into Hartigan


    Hartigan is more of a hero in the Sin City novels than Marv. Marv was willing to go against Roark to seek his own vengeance. Hartigan, on the other hand, goes up against Roark when he grows tired of all the injustices that the family has caused; especially 'Junior.' Marv becomes a hero after he discovers that Goldie has been killed while sharing a bed with him. Hartigan decides to become a hero on the day of his retirement, when he felt no more weight was holding him down to stop 'Junior' and his practices.

    And, just like Marv, Hartigan, as a hero, does not follow any conventional settings. Hartigan is willing to kill any who stand in his way during his quest for Nancy. He will even kill you slowly, not just a single shot to the head. Hartigan will rip your balls off [literally] or blow off some limbs before he finally finishes you. In a rough town such as Sin City, you got to be rough back.

    Aspects to Sin City


    Sin City Hartigan suffers from angina.
    Judging by the first to novels I read, you are most likely going to hear me say this for every part of this look inside Sin City-- The Sin City movie can be seen as a risk for a film as it does not follow any conventional movie formula. Things do not turn out well for all characters, even your favorites. Some of the parts are just down right depressing or, at least, disturbingly shocking. 'Beautiful women' get killed just as quickly, or brutally, as the key culprits in the story. If you think your hero for the story is going to walk off in the sunset, think again. In Sin City, things never seem to turn out OK for anybody.

    While this fact may bother some, the story of Hartigan could just be one of the instrumental steps in creating an all time classic film. And, to be honest, the story of Hartigan is much more depressing than the story of Marv. So, I will ask this again-- Will movie goers enjoy seeing a movie that offers heroes who do not really contain any hero qualities [except for ability with a gun and size of the character]? Hartigan, just like Marv, does not have the happiest of endings. Each character understood their flaws and only saw the worst options as the best options. By the end of Hartigan's story, you understand that he may not fit the standard 'hero' formula [even though he is closer to the 'hero' formula than Marv] , but you still root for him along the way and have EXTREME pity for him at the end.


    For Part I of 'A Deeper Look Inside Sin City,' I had complained about the use of grammar. That Yellow Bastard offers much better grammar than the original Sin City. The story also contains two characters that talk with the hardest dialogue I have ever heard. Check out the sample below:

    And, if my current state of much-justified petulance permits me to press the point, you are likeways demonstratabbly bereft of a working understanding of the perimeters of our beforementioned mission at hand.

    Relevant to said mission is the following query I no put forth to you. Said query concerning matters strictly spacial in nature.. Wherein this most streamlined and trunkless of transports-- boner-inspiring though it may be-- wherein are we to reposit our recently deceased cargo?



    Score:



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    Compiled By (Sources)
    Ryan Parsons
    Sources: Images from the Sin City graphic novels by Frank Miller.
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