Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.

The sequel to 2005’s ‘Sin City’ is another similar trip into the noirish hell of Basin City, with another three main stories (and an intro) about crime, femme fatales and dangerous men. Stylistically, the film follows in the same vein of the original, with the use of green screen throughout to portray the look and feel of the comic book, and a few new characters join some of the key players from the first film. To be honest, the problem with the film is that it is simply inferior to the original effort, and the innovative style of the first film no longer feels innovative. That’s not to say I didn’t like the film – this is a good yarn and the scenery chewing performances are still pretty great, but it lacks the spark of the first film where everything felt fresh and original.

The film begins with a short story featuring Mickey Rourke’s Marv (the standout from the original), as he tries to retrace his steps through a drunken night that has ended up in murder, before we move into the three main stories, which interlink throughout,

The Long Bad Night– Joseph Gordon Levitt’s leads this story as Johnny, a cocky young gambler who challenges the powerful Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe) into a poker game where he bites off more than he can chew
A Dame To Kill For– The story of the title stars Eva Green as Ava Lord, the titular dame, as she attempts to get her ex-boyfriend, Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin, taking over from Clive Owen in the first film) to save her from the hands of her vicious new husband
Nancy’s Last Dance– The final story follows stripper Nancy Callahan, who enlists Marv in her quest for revenge against Senator Roarke for the events of the previous film

I enjoyed all of the stories, perhaps ‘A Dame To Kill For’ the most, largely down to Eva Green’s mesmeric performance as Ava Lord, captivating every man that comes into contact with her, but the other stories were enjoyable too. The music is pretty great throughout, and the supporting cast is excellent fun (albeit a lot of the cast are given very little to do) – I particularly enjoyed a couple of ex-24 presidents in Powers Boothe and Dennis Haysbert, as well as former chief of staff Jude Ciccolella in prominent roles. Mickey Rourke and Eva Green are the overall standouts for me though.

Robert Rodriguez’s last film was the mediocre sequel to ‘Machete’, and this further sequel (and lack of success going by the initial US box office takings) will hopefully help return Rodriguez to developing original movies again. Ultimately, if you liked the first film (which I did), I suspect you’ll get a lot out of this even if it’s not on the same level. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good film that leads off the positives from the first film to tell new stories in the same world, albeit it lacks the originality and panache that the first film had when it came out.

Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime King, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, Marton Csokas, Jamie Chung and Jude Ciccolella

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