Here comes Part Three of ranking the characters of Sin City. Like I mentioned last week, as we say goodbye to this franchise for good, it’s also time to count down to the best of the best among Frank Miller’s grandiose ensemble. I promise you, you’re just a few weeks away from finding out where your absolute favorite characters rank, and I do look forward to sparking controversy with some of my placements. For now, however, we turn to the characters ranked #20-16. Enjoy, readers!
20. Cardinal Patrick Henry Roark (Played by Rutger Hauer)
It was fitting to have the bloodsucker of all bloodsuckers play a murderous cannibal who gives sermons by day and feasts human flesh by night. Roark may be vile and repulsive, but he’s also pretty non-threatening once Marv finally reaches him at the end of his revenge-capade. Cardinal Roark has neither the cunning nor the physical authoritativeness of his senator brother, who is the true evil ruling Sin City with an iron fist sanctioned by the polls. Nonetheless, the fact that it was Roark who raised the horrifying freak show known as Kevin is enough to make this man of the cloth beyond terrifying.
19. Becky (Played by Alexis Bledel)
Being a prostitute likely narrows down your friends list considerably, family even more so, but it’s another matter entirely when you betray your sisterhood of prostitutes in the name of…money? Gosh, Becky, how cliché! Not only did Becky destroy the shaky truce between the cops of Sin City and the girls of Old Town, but she also acts as a spy for crime boss Wallenquist in the hopes of making a new life for herself. The girls, especially Gail, don’t take too kindly to that, but it’s The Salesman who finally fulfills Gail’s promise of sweet revenge. Gee, Becky, what ever happened to “Chicks before Dicks”?
18. Sally (Played by Juno Temple)
Sally’s very minor appearance marks one of the few times in Frank Miller’s Sin City that the female victim gets the last laugh. After a near-miss with death at the hands of former lover Joey – who was cheating on his wife with Sally until he realized killing her would keep the affair silent – Sally is presented with the opportunity to get back at Joey, one that would ensure he’d never come near a woman again. Okay, maybe it isn’t as extreme as you guys are all envisioning, but suffice it to say the hilarious Juno Temple sure knows how to land a kick in the most effective of places…again…and again…and again.
17. Mort and Bob (Played by Christopher Meloni and Jeremy Piven, respectively)
Imagine what would happen if Princess Leia came between Han Solo and Chewbacca. Well, hold onto the scary thought and multiply it by a thousand because that is exactly what happens to the friendship between cops Mort and Bob after the seductively destructive Ava Lord enters the picture. With crocodile tears and calculated ego-stroking aplenty, Ava is able to ensnare Meloni’s Mort into her web of deceit, causing a chain reaction that affects his fidelity, code of ethics, and eventually his BFF status with Bob, which ends so tragically that it could have been its own Shakespeare play. Mort and Bob, you guys deserved one another but clearly Ava knows how to snap a bromance in half with very little effort on her part.
16. Detective John Hartigan (Played by Bruce Willis)
Besides the casting being annoyingly on-the-nose, I find this character (and Willis) compelling as a protagonist but also a little bit skeevy. Case in point: this old geezer saves young Nancy Callahan from the pedophilic Yellow Bastard…and what is his reward? An eventual romance with the underage girl who, once she crossed the age-inappropriate dating threshold, was swooped up by the old, hard-boiled do-gooder for a big kiss before he went out guns blazing. I had my fill of Hartigan after Sin City, but when they brought Willis back for the sequel in an obvious nod to The Sixth Sense (Nancy Callahan sees dead people!) I couldn’t help but guffaw on the inside at how much of a joke this character turned out to be. I know it’s controversial of me to rank John Hartigan so low, but can y’all really argue that this man is someone worth actively rooting for?
Due to the plethora of characters in the Sin City universe, film and graphic novel included, I am only ranking from a pool of thirty and I hope you all can participate as well using the same format. In the comments – knowing full well who your Top 30 are without giving away your list – please follow suit and rank from #20-16. Have a ball as this is the end of Sin City as we know it!