Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) Film Review, a movie directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, and starring Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Booth, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime King, Stacy Keach, Lady Gaga, Juno Temple, and Jamie Chung.
When the original Sin City exploded onto the scene back in 2005, it dug it’s brutal mitts so deep into us that we could feel our guts churning…and we liked it. The original also managed to pull off a stylized comic book feel and made us forget the movie was shot on green screen. It took Writers and Directors, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez nine years to forge a proper sequel. With Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the mallet has returned to shatter any notion that an adaptation of a Frank Miller comic…will be anything but tame. This dish is best served cold and in 3D.
After nine years of comic book movies finally carving their own path and winning non comic book viewers over, we return to Sin City to find she hasn’t lost any of her original appeal. A few other faces have returned as well. Marv (Mickey Rourke), one of the most abominably perverse characters to ever grace a screen, returns and plays his hand Bogart…on steroids. Fueled by his abstruse reasoning and taste for blood, we not only get to see him lay hands on the unfortunate, we also get introduced to more of his story. Not that he is anymore complex than he was in the original, but there is more to his tale.
A Dame to Kill For manages to accomplish a few things that make this world feel much larger. Yes, there is more action, visual fx and gore but the film is not just a sequel. It’s also a prequel that has stories that take place before and after the original. We see more of this decadent town. Just like the first film, you will be asked to suspend your belief for over 100 minutes and let this R rated tale take you on a ride.
One of the refreshing things to make note of, is the introduction to the new characters and stories. Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a clever baby-faced gambler, who arrives in this absurdly dangerous town, finds himself in a high stakes card game with Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Their hostile back and forth relationship is spirited, dark and full of dialogue. Actually, every part of this film has an abundance of narration.
Dwight (Josh Brolin) and Ava (Eva Green) take center stage to deliver the most memorable story in the film. To be honest, Eva Green’s performance is a breathe of fresh air. Every time you see her she commands attention. She also spends more time with her clothes off than do all the strippers in the film. Brolin, looks the part and brings his character to life as well. When you combine, Dwight, Ava, Marv and Manute (Dennis Haysbert) in their story, there is enough content for a whole film with just them alone. This story is filled with sex and plenty knuckle sandwiches.
The pros. After leaving the theater I found myself entertained. Not because I thought this film was an Oscar worthy effort, but because the filmmakers provided enough style, humor, abstract characters, scraps, visual fx and flesh to truly bring this comic book alive onscreen. It’s a fun ride not to be taken seriously.
The con. The film has a very one-dimensional storyline and all of the characters are stiff and predictable. I understand some of the stiffness. Because of the way the film is made some of the actors mobility is restricted. The problem with this is, we always feel like they are on a stage. The 3D adds depth and eases this but the stage feel is always present. You never really care or connect deeply with any of the characters but they are fun to watch shuffle through their stories.
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