The single, most important aspect of a movie is the script. You can have all the best actors and technology available and it means nothing if the story and the dialogue are crap. That is the undeniable lesson of movies like SKY CAPTAIN and, more recently SIN CITY.
I saw SIN CITY today, and while I marveled at the technological achievement and the look of the film, after a few minutes that excitement and fascination evaporated and crushing boredom took over. The movie is, in a word, awful. Why? Because the story, the dialogue, and the characters are terrible. The narrative is a mess, the characters are non-existant, and there isn’t a single real emotion to hold on to. The writing itself is wince-inducingly bad.
Anyone who doubts the importance of the writer to a film, of a strong script, a well-constructed story and credible characters you can believe (notice I don’t say "like" or "identify with") should be tied to a chair and forced to watch SIN CITY (that’s what it would take to make me see it again).
You can hire the biggest names on the SAG membership rolls, fill every inch of the screen with amazing effects and gore, and pummel the audience with blaring sound and thunderous music, but none of that will hide the absense of a good script.
That’s one reason why I loved THE INCREDIBLES so much… it was a great movie with big effects, a strong story, wonderful dialogue and characters so credible it didn’t matter that they weren’t even portrayed by flesh-and-blood actors. Not only did it look good, and sound good,
but most important of all, it was well written.
It’s all about the script.
It’s why old shows like STAR TREK, I LOVE LUCY, and GUNSMOKE hold up so well today… it doesn’t matter if the show is in black-and-white, or that Dodge City is clearly on a soundstage, or that the consoles on the bridge of the Enterprise look less sophisticated than an 8-track tape deck. It’s the writing and the acting that carries the shows…and that, ultimately, is what endures long after the "wow"-factor of the film-making technology has worn off and become dated. Which, in the case of SKY CAPTAIN and SIN CITY, is about five minutes into the films.
SIN CITY is a technological achievement, and a poor excuse for a movie.