During this ambiguous period of worldwide-isolation, it seems only fitting to watch a film that follows unfortunate souls trapped in the dystopia of 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 (2005). Whilst our own version of semi-quarantine may seem like imprisonment sometimes, it’s nowhere near as visceral as what Frank Miller’s characters are trapped in. 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 is brutal and extreme, and only tasteful due to its comic book roots and adherence to that style. Its extraordinary violence may seem over-the-top– and with Quentin Tarantino as guest director, that opinion is expected– but its exaggeration is fundamental to the algorithm of its world, showing us just how bad the bad can be.
𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 follows four tales based in the city of Basin, a cesspool of corruption, violence, and basically a microcosm for all 7 of the deadly sins. The four tales are loosely intertwined, and include: a cop saving a girl from the hands of a freakish paedophile; a ginormous brute hunting the cannibal who framed him for the murder of his sweetheart; a man who defends an army of prostitutes from mercenaries, crooked cops, and the mob; and, a handsome hitman looking to scrum a bit of cash.
In 2004/2005, C.G.I. was notorious for its distracting woefulness. The technology was incredibly inept regardless of record-breaking budgets at the time, and what resulted were films that were made entirely of green screens and would soon fall victim to vicious parody.
𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 was an anomaly in these circumstances, utilising the cartoon-esque graphic quality of the time and creating a film that attained so much of its comic-book mise-en-scène that its basically just surfing the pages of Frank Miller’s popular novels. Rather than veering astray from its origin, 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 sits firm and digs its heels into the ground, blurring the lines between skin and drawing, and what we witness is a neo-noir temptation fest found in the black and white sewers of a dystopian city. The only colour in this world is when the blood hits the wall. And when paedophiles turn yellow.
The film evokes a feeling of hopelessness, centred around the demise of men attempting to act upon their virtues. It tells us that in this world, your heart will get you killed, or at least shot up. But death is nowhere near as feared as losing personal justice, a trope that pays homage to the anti-heroes of the noir genre. In fact, the entire film is just a hyperbolic-noir-stereotype and the extremes of its decadence. You might go as far to say 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 is just the literal and over-explained metaphor of noir itself? But I wouldn’t say that. Because that kind of chin-scratching, meta-analysis is snobby, and I despise film snobs! You hear me!?
𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 is not only a hardcore indictment into the vitriolic world of Frank Miller’s mind, but also exploited the incapability of other studios struggling with computer graphics in the early/mid-2000s. Its nature and styles are suited to the effects that resemble a PlayStation games cut-scene, causing its audience to be blissfully unaware of the technological limitations of the time. In all its filth, provocation, and grime, 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘪𝘵𝘺 (𝟸𝟶𝟶𝟻) is a visual marvel and tumultuous dissection into the world where death is a blessing.
Just don’t eat too much prior to watching. It might come back up.