Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, 2014.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller.
Starring Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Jaime King, Juno Temple, Christopher Lloyd, Lady Gaga, Stacy Keach and Jamie Chung.
Three more stories from the vaults of Sin City as some of its twisted citizens get in too deep.
The sequel to Sin City has been a long time coming and in the wake of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, part of me wonders if it’s been too long. The stories we get on this adventure are the titular A Dame to Kill For, Nancy’s Last Dance, Just Another Saturday Night and The Long Bad Night. Each of the stories in themselves are interesting and A Dame To Kill For is clearly the standout with Eva Green pulling out a phenomenal femme fatale performance. But the issue with this sequel is that it feels almost pointless as it adds nothing new to the wonderful first film. Each story is interesting and the stylistic elements are as compelling as the original, but there’s nothing new to wet out appetites.
A Dame to Kill For is a fantastic story and we get to revisit a pre Clive Owen Dwight McCarthy; this time played expertly by Josh Brolin as he becomes entwined with dame Ava (Green). The story is full of twists, sex, violence and everything you can expect from the mind of Frank Miller and it does not disappoint. The power play between the two leads is enjoyable to watch and Green is the star of this show. She oozes sex appeal and it is easy to believe that she would be able to manipulate anyone of her choosing.
The fact that A Dame to Kill For is the main story does make the other tales pale in comparison, the most notable being The Long Bad Night starring Joseph Gordon Levitt as cocky gambler Johnny. The story is intriguing and Levitt fits perfectly into the backdrop of Basin City. But his story feels like there’s something missing. He takes on the all supreme Senator Roark (a superbly menacing Powers Boothe) and whilst this is interesting to watch, the end of the story feels anti climatic.
Similarly Marv’s Just Another Night which opens the film doesn’t pack as big a punch as the opening of the first film; making A Dame to Kill For feel almost like a lesser imitation of its predecessor. But the highlight throughout the entire film and all the stories is Mickey Rourke as Marv. He proved to be hugely entertaining to watch in the first film and here again he completely embodies Marv to spectacular effect. His presence aids the pace of all the stories and gives this film a much better flow that the first.
Then comes Nancy’s Last Dance in which we pick up after the events of the previous film. Jessica Alba stretches her acting chops and whilst a tad wooden in places, she does convince as a grieving young woman desperate for revenge. It’s a nice pairing with That Yellow Bastard and its enjoyable to see the film finished off in this way.
The stylistic nature of both A Dame to Kill For and the first Sin City is simply awe inspiring to watch. The 3D element is still gimmicky but it’s not offensive to the eye at all. There is an element of style over substance but when you’re having as much fun as the characters it can be forgiven. We see all the familiar faces from the previous film and although some are less effective than others – Jaime King has a glorified cameo and Rosario Dawson has little to work with – it’s still good to see these characters on the screen again.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For maybe the sequel that no one expected to happen but it does deliver a few thrills and some good stories. It however, falls short of its predecessor and what was new and exciting back in 2005 just feels a little stale the second time around.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★