There are 8 million stories in “Sin City,” and all of them end with a bullet.

Blood spills on everyone in the mostly black-and-white movie (with the occasional blue eye or red lip), with blood that looks like splattered wax. A movie for which the word “autolobotomy” needs to be coined, “Sin City” is based on a crazily violent graphic novel, and it expertly duplicates the stylized energy of a comic book. At every moment, in every scene, there’s a feeling that every image has been designed for maximum impact.

“Sin City” borrows the structure of “Pulp Fiction.” It’s three stories that are actually one story, each narrated by a world-weary guy who hands off narration duties to the next guy like a runner in a sordid relay.

Josh Hartnett tells one tale, appearing as a sad-eyed gumshoe whose staccato dialogue isn’t the only thing about him that rat-a-tat-tats. Bruce Willis narrates another, as a cop haunted by his failure to save the virtue of a child kidnapped by a maniac (Nick Stahl). And Mickey Rourke narrates the third, as a muscleman keenly attuned to the honor of babes with nice racks (actually, the pumped-up Rourke has the biggest rack in the film).

The movie is set in a town where the men are men and the women are prostitutes, and you can’t take any of it too seriously. “Sin City” is jazzed by excess, by the thrill of crafting a sharp-edged, high-contrast shadow world where it’s hard to tell the difference between cartoons and reality. I suppose some will search for deeper meanings in “Sin City,” but I don’t think the movie can support that. It’s only interested in cool, in the same way that Dave Brubeck was and Jack Kerouac was and Kanye West is.

So, as trumpets blare and drums bongo on the soundtrack, as the characters tear through be-boppy dialogue in 7/8 time, as muscle cars carom down backroads like bowling balls and as the screen fills with sheets of rain that cannot cleanse away the evil in Sin City, we experience the thrill of getting lost in mayhem that has nothing to do with the mayhem of the real world.

And maybe we also think how lucky we are that co-director Robert Rodriguez will have another movie, “Shark Boy and Lava Girl,” in theaters in two months.

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