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- Alternate Character Interpretation: Marv is Percival, Dwight is Lancelot and Hartigan is Galahad. Sin City is a Darker and Edgier Camelot.
- Complete Monster: Due to the general morality, the villains are usually really bad.
- Junior, a handsome young playboy who is actually a sadistic pedophile, raping and murdering hundreds of pre-teen girls and Loves to Hear Them Scream.
- Kevin, a cannibal serial killer. And Cardinal Roark, who joined Kevin in his cannibalism.
- Senator Roark, Junior's father, has a monopoly on power in Basin City. He covers up his sadistic son's crimes because he wants the creep to become President of the United States. He may be worse than his brother - the Cardinal - because the Cardinal at least believed he was doing God's work (though he's still a corrupt bastard who deserves a nasty fate). Actually the Roark family as a whole is arguably made of Complete Monsters, considering they built Basin City off crime and corruption in the first place. The Senator's wife was the only good one, and she isn't descended from the Roark line.
- The Colonel, head of a massive kidnapping, slave-trading, brainwashing and industrial-strength porn production operation, is pretty obviously a sociopath who displays no character traits other than hinting at a wish to direct the bodies of the people around him, to see their "full potential" realized.
- Although he should traditionally be the most monstrous character in the series, and probably has more blood on his hands than all of the above combined, mob boss Wallenquist is so cold-blooded a villain he rather becomes a rare exception from the trope, refusing to indulge in any perverted sex, displays of sadism or even pursuing revenge after suffering a particularly devastating loss; the only thing he cares about is money.
- Contractual Purity: Jessica Alba famously refuses to do nude scenes so some fans were dissappointed when she was picked to play Nancy, the stripper.
- Creator Worship
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The movie's usage of Cells in the trailer and closing credits is so memorable that it's often called the "Sin City Theme" even though it's not the theme. The song predates the movie.
- Gratuitous Special Effects: The movie is an action/crime-noir film, the likes of which, are typically done with few special effects. This movie broke new ground in Green Screen.
- I Am Not Shazam: The Yellow Bastard is the character's name in Fanon, is the referencial title of the story in which he appears, and is used by Frank Miller himself but as far as Canon goes, he is simply Junior Roark.
- Memetic Mutation: "Skinny little X. She grew up. She filled out."
- Misaimed Fandom: Some who've seen the movie but not read the book criticize it for "trying too hard to be cool" or something along those lines. They don't realize it's intentional.
- Some movie critics accused it of being "too much like a comic book", not realizing that it was a comic book.
- Old Guard Versus New Blood
- Role Association
- Tear Jerker:
"Old man dies. Little girl lives. Fair trade."
Eleven year old Nancy: "Still alive and still a virgin. All thanks to you."
Marv: I got 'em good for you, didn't I, Goldie?
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Averted with the movie, which was usually word-for-word, panel-for-panel accurate to the comics, to the point where Frank Miller was given a director credit for it.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The movie's use of green sceen allowed for gorgeous visuals throughout, both in the obvious ways (the environments and spot coloring) and the less obvious ways (Mickey Rourke has a fight scene with Elijah Wood, despite Wood not even having been cast when Rourke was shooting). Also Awesome Yet Practical, as the green screen not only made production go by very smoothly but each actor was able to be lit individually without worrying about lighting the backgrounds which was the only way to get the Sin City look.
- WTH? Casting Agency: Elijiah Wood as Kevin. Never thought Frodo could be that scary, did you?
- He would if the Ring took complete control of him.
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