Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Release Date: 25th August 2014
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Sin City hasn’t changed much in nine years. The crime rate may have gone up a notch, and a few more citizens may be lying in the gutter, but everything else is much the same. The world has changed around it since, however, and the questions lies on whether the city is worth visiting once more. Comic book heroes are all the rage, but these guys ain’t no heroes.
A Dame To Kill For follows the same format of the first, a collection of noir shorts featuring a set of misfits getting by on violence and misery. Dwight (who transformed from a cool Clive Owen to a rugged Josh Brolin in the nine years waiting time) takes the title story, finding himself struggling with the love he longs for, the devious Ava, who knows how to get what she wants, with typically violent results. Shorter stories feature the walking tank Marv (Mickey Rourke looking his best in a long time) breaking faces, Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt) taking on the worst of the city at gambling, and John’s ghost (Bruce Willis) stalking Nancy (Jessica Alba) who is undergoing a slight mental breakdown over his suicide. These take place around the central story, with characters often brushing past each other before departing on their own journey.
Unfortunately these new tales feel like padding for the sake of a sequel, and most of the stories either splutter out or walk around the main story looking lost. Levitt plays a real card demon, but it’s hard to care much for his tale when it’s sandwiched between everything else with little thought. Rouke’s character Marv is purely a plot device to drive the story forward too, he’s the answer to everybody’s problems, even yours and mine. The main joy is found in Eva Green’s devious ways, a role which seems to involve her spending most of her screen-time wearing nothing at all. It must be an Eva kind of thing, as she abandons the cloth for that other late to the party comic sequel, 300 Rise Of An Empire. With stories that don’t stick and continuations of long forgotten events, it’s hard to care.
But A Dame To Kill For still has one trick to keep it ticking, the visual splendour. The comic book world has come kicking and screaming onto the big screen, with a black and white world ripped from the pages, splashes of colour bringing great power to the violence and beauty. While Marvel and DC try to normalise our comic book heroes, Sin City embraces the silliness and absurdity of it all. The noir style is captured perfectly with scenes managing to completely soak you into this mad world. To be part of this world would be a fantasy, though if you don’t end up being a Marv or a Dwight, that part would probably end up as just a bit one. Lady Gaga manages to survive just fine in her mini waitress cameo though, no guns of gimp mask for her this time.
It may be a diluted version of the original, a sequel fans wanted seven years ago, not today, yet the style still feels fresh; rarely replicated, never bettered. How often can you now go to the cinema and enjoy an 18 rated blood fest with comic book characters looking like they’ve stepped straight out of the pages, grounded reality be damned? All it’s missing is some visual sound effects and creased pages.
And Jessica Alba has amazing Jeans.