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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – Review


Release Date: 22nd August 2014 [USA]
Director: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Frank Miller [Graphic Novels & Screenplay]
Cast: Mickey Rourke - Jessica Alba - Josh Brolin - Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Rosario Dawson - Bruce Willis - Eva Green - Ray Liotta - Jeremy Piven - Christopher Lloyd



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Posted August 29, 2014 by

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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Review:

It’s hard to believe that the first Sin City, the collaboration between director Robert Rodriguez and graphic novel creator Frank Miller, was released 9 years ago back in 2005 yet there’s just not quite s much hype and excitement for a sequel so late on as if the anticipation was just lost. Yet it’s here with the fancy splash graphic title emerging from the streets of the screen that Sin City: A Dame To Kill For appears from.


Starting off with the nine year wait you can tell that time has passed and technology has gotten better as there’s so much more in the sequel when it comes to flash fancy style but does it do anything? Besides from quite a few good effects and different things being done in the world that is Sin City, it does still keep it’s original violent style and tone but doesn’t show anything else. In fact the comic book style which works so well as a film noir, it does give off the impression of age sometimes, especially when you think of what’s been done in those nine years which have passed such as Zack Snyder’s 300 or Watchmen. However you can’t dwell on these small details and rather emerge yourself in the dark streets of Sin City.


Similar to the first the plot is broken into shorter stories which seamlessly link together in one way or another. Of the stories told each fits in a character to lead the way with Micky Rourke returning as Merv to helm the first (also making appearances in all the others) newcomer Joseph Gordon Levitt has the worst night of his life as he strolls into the city to win his luck with an interesting story fitting into his character. Josh Brolin takes over for Clive Owen’s character as Dwight for a prequel to the previous film which includes Eva Green and we finish off with the return of Jessica Alba as Nancy in the final chapter. All the stories roll together fitting into one another perfectly with Powers Booth being the main featured villain throughout. The majority of the characters work perfectly wit the only story for me not to work was the main title one ‘A Dame To Kill For.’ It was the longest and for me most uninteresting of the stories which featured Brolin and Green but the characters felt forced and pushed together with Eva Green giving an unrealistic performance. It’s a pity when the central piece doesn’t work as up until this part I was really enjoying the bursting environment of Sin City.


With the other stories Micky Rourke plays his usual piece bringing us in to the always describing vibe of the city as the camera pans across at the end of his scene to show the dark, cold city. The most interesting was Joseph Gordon Levitt who enters the city feeling like the new guy which just felt fresh. His is the only story which doesn’t resonate what his actual plans are. All the stories are about killing a main person in some violent way but JGL’s had an different motive to it revealing only in the final moments. It gave a dark twist to the ever shrouding darkness of Sin City and it felt like something new and not just recycled from the previous. It’s a pity this theme didn’t flow throughout giving each character something a little different to strive for but sadly JGL’s feels like the only original story.


Some actors make appearances for a handful of lines such as Lady Gaga (who as I’ve seen in the past can be quite the actor) and Jeremy Piven. Once I saw the two lines Gaga said I wondered as to why she wasn’t cast in Eva Green’s role who just felt useless and let down a large part of the film for me. Another small issue with the never ending middle section had to be the constant description for everything Brolin came across from the atmosphere to the feelings which just felt like the film had gone to the extreme end of the spectrum.


Jessica Alba returns with surprise appearance from Bruce Willis but Nancy’s story just feels like a quick wrap up for the overlying plot. It’s a tale of revenge and violent outrage with again the helping hand of Micky Rourke (I get it he’s the helping hand in a fight but does he need to be in every scene?) In fact Alba’s Nancy felt like the film hadn’t aged at all as she dances on stage invigorating the crowd.


Sin City: A Dame To Kill For wasn’t worth the nine year wait and maybe if it had released a few years after the first it might have been much more accepted however it doesn’t hold up to the original by much. It just lacks a lot of feel for the characters and interesting nature which was so much provided in the first. I felt let down that very little was even scoured in the city as we just see even less than the original. Sadly with sequels that’s all you’ll ever do is compare it to the first but with only a handful of interesting things going on and some cool effects we don’t get much more from the dark gritty atmosphere that was Sin City and it just feels like you’ve seen it all before again. 

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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