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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
Director: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller
Starring: Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Dennis Haysbert, Bruce Willis, and Christopher Lloyd
Monte’s Rating
3.50 out of 5.00

Movie Review — “A Dame To Kill for”


In 2005, director Robert Rodriquez transformed author Frank Miller’s neo-noir graphic novel “Sin City” into a stunning, cutting-edge film. Rodriguez, making a living comic book, utilized a groundbreaking mix of digital style and animated renderings. “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” is a continuing story involving old and new characters. Miller, who also co-directed, utilized an established story as inspiration but also included two new tales. The narrative, somewhat fragmented, was again a gritty crime noir piece with intensified aesthetics of violence, sex, and revenge. Rodriguez and Miller kept everything relatively familiar, though “Dame” wielded uncompromising style into every scene, it didn’t demand much more.

No one is innocent in Sin City. Some familiar faces are still dodging their demise, but there are also a few new ones looking for trouble, journeying about Sin City’s desperate streets. Nancy (Jessica Alba) hasn’t been the same since the suicide of her protector in the first film, a cop named Hartigan (Bruce Willis).  An early image of a lost Nancy, scantily clad with a bottle of hard liquor and a handgun, is the descriptive sum of themes for the film. Her plight of desperation and revenge is one echoed throughout the mirage of extravagant visual style and outlandish violence. Nancy’s entrancing dance has a purposeful aggression this time around; her vengeful sights are squarely set on the powerfully corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Willis makes a welcome cameo as a ghostlike guardian of sorts, while Boothe shines in an unpleasant role within two of the stories. The narrative struggled with keeping the shifting stories interesting, especially Nancy’s story, which unfortunately got lost amongst the others but displayed potential of being the most interesting because of the characters’ extensive arc within the world.

Just like the first incarnation, “Dame” weaved storylines throughout each other with Nancy’s dive bar workplace playing the community intersection for the stories. Marv (Mickey Rourke) a bruising and bruised staple in the bar watched over Nancy, but visitors were always welcome. This included a cocky gambler named Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who was playing a dangerous hand during a card game with Senator Roark, while Dwight (Josh Brolin replacing Clive Owen), a returning character from the first film, sought retribution after deadly dealings with a femme fatale (Eva Green). The cast, even some unmentioned here, were exceptional throughout. Rourke in full comic makeup seems tailored to play Marv’s brawly presence.  Gordon-Levitt was also good, squaring off against Boothe in a flow of tough guy sentiments and power gestures that were heightened in the realm of a poker game. Brolin, always interesting to watch, seemed somewhat overshadowed playing opposite the best performance in the film by Eva Green. Green’s hyper-sexualized performance as Ava seemed to share all the best attributes of villainous women all wrapped into her character. Vulnerability and voluptuous beauty utilized to make men into her controlled marionettes.

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” continued its seedy sex and violence fueled tale with the same unique visual style established in the original nearly ten years ago. While the style and story were not entirely fresh, Frank Miller’s knack for constructing interesting characters and Rodriguez’s capable skill as a director kept a relatively unoriginal sequel entertaining for those ready for another trip to Sin City.