Cert: 18 Runtime: 102 mins Director: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Powers Booth and Bruce Willis
Death is just like life in Sin City. It always wins
Back in 2005 I became entranced by the noir epic ‘Sin City’, what Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller created was just pure artistry. They really redefined a comic book movie, and made it faithful to the source material. The books have become very familiar to me, they are a great series I would recommend it to anyone. We have waited nine whole years for a sequel, even though Rodriguez & Miller started work on it in 2006. All we knew was the title A Dame To Kill For. This is the second book in the series, for me it’s very dark and one of the best in the series. What is A Dame To Kill For all about then? In the dark underbelly of this lawless metropolis, we catch up with some of the first film’s most memorable characters. These include grizzled cop John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), the battered and imposing Marv (Mickey Rourke), and exotic dancer Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba). Once again, evil and corrupt Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe) is the primary villain. The interweaving stories also introduce us to the younger Dwight (Josh Brolin), before his facial reconstruction surgery. Newcomers to this seedy, violent urban cesspool include gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and femme fatale Ava Lord (Eva Green).
It’s safe to say this is not on par with the original, but I still enjoyed it. The film has received a lot of mixed reviews, and I don’t get why so many people disliked A Dame To Kill For. Emotionally it’s not very gripping, but there is such a darker side to this. It seems like a wilder beast, we are dealing with major topics such as mental health, alcoholism, corruption, sex and fraud. For me this is a mature version of the original. I would disagree with people saying the new stories are weak. People wanted to know what happens to Nancy, we got it. Getting a new character like Johnny, is just a plus as the book fans won’t know what will happen. Miller has always wanted to develop this world and I do hope we get the comic books to go with the new tales. The formula for the film hasn’t changed at all we have four stories, why change something that works? The style was the same which I loved. The tone, tempo and pacing was just great. It was a shame about the music, it didn’t seem that different. 3D was an issue, I could see where Rodriguez was going with it. But it just didn’t work for me, I think that was a part of its opening weekend downfall due to the use of 3D.
Eva Green as Ava Lord is really the strongest point of the movie for me. She’s electric on-screen, and hot, sexy, mesmerizing even with those glowing green eyes. She steals the show, and not just because of her constant, and apparent, lack of a clothing wardrobe. Josh Brolin as Dwight was interesting, he didn’t quite win me over but he worked well with Green in their segment. Mickey Rourke as Marv, Powers Boothe as Senator Roark, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny also delivered great, convincing performances that really draw you into the chaotic and villainous world of Sin City. Marv kicking some ass again, as was expected of him. Senator Roark is, obviously, still as despicable and antagonistic as he was in the first film, and Johnny, well, he’s a bag full of surprises.Jessica Alba conveyed a rather emotional performance, which I wasn’t expecting. She really gave Nancy life this time, for me she was a weak link in the original. But her development in this sequel was just brilliant.New additions like Ray Liotta, Lady Gaga, and Juno Temple were welcomed surprises. I enjoyed the return of Rosario Dawson and Bruce Willis, and Jaime King. Even with brief appearances we knew we were back in that world.
I can’t finish my review without saying that the title story was everything I wanted it to be. It was such a faithful adaption, panel for panel more or less. It is a personal favorite story of mine from the series. Seeing it being acted out was transcending. Eva Green was born to play Ava Lord, I truly couldn’t imagine anyone playing her. She literally hit the nail on the coffin.Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a ballet of noir and blood. The black and white imagery is just fantastic to look at, giving this movie an actual living comic book feel. The methods of kills and spills turn what would have been a gross violent story into something of beauty. It has to be seen to believe it was a fun exercise in director Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller visions of how dark mankind can be. Let’s hope we can get another one sooner rather than later.