Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen are among the all-star cast in the best bid yet to bring a comic-book to life.

Total sensory overload is the order of the day in this jaw-dropping adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Miller himself (with one scene reserved for pal Quentin Tarantino).

It interweaves three stories, The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard, into one relentless thrill-ride down the mean streets of Basin City, a festering hellhole of vice and corruption.

Filmed almost entirely by digitally imposing the actors onto black-and-white CGI backdrops with only isolated bursts of colour, the film is an awesome visual feast.

Willis is an ageing cop trying to save a girl, Rourke is out to avenge the death of a hooker and catch serial killer Elijah Wood and Owen is an ex-sleuth caught up in a war between Benicio Del Toro’s rogue cops and a group of warrior prostitutes, led by Rosario Dawson.

Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy, Carla Gugino, Michael Madsen, and Josh Hartnett are among those who also appear.