Dark, visual masterpiece, great plot - just brilliant!
First of all, I have not read the comic books, which this movie is based on, so my comments and affection might be a bit off.
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I remember watching it in the movie theater for the first time and I was just amazed. Afterwards I have watched it several times since, and as my streaming service suggested it, I just had to give it another go. It is really that good!
The plot, being non-linear, takes you through several very interesting stories; the brute, the cop, and the hero - well four if you count in the short parts with “The Man”. All are somewhat crossing, but none of them are depending on each other and not actually connected. It is a bit of a long movie, but when it is over, you have a feeling that is was too short as you want more of each the tree stories. They are all very well done with great twists and turns along the way.
As it it three (or four) stories in one, it has quite a star speckled cast, the leads being Clive Owen, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke, but with several other rather good (and some very pretty!!) actors. If I have to mention three outstanding performances beside the three main leads, it would be Benicio del Toro as Jackie Boy, Brittany Murphy as Shellie , and Carla Gugino as Lucile.
The use (and lack of) colors creates a very strong visual impression. For me is was one of the first movies in the Neo Noir genre. It has a great effect and really helps accentuate and underline specific points in the movie. I am guessing this is highly inspired by the comic book, but without this effect, the movie would just not have been the same.
Watch it if you like graphical movies, if you like Quentin Tarantino, if you like stylized violence or if you just love a brilliant action movie. It does not get much better than this.