Movie Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’
Director: Robert Rodriquez and Frank Miller
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, Juno Temple, Christopher Lloyd and Bruce Willis
Story: Another collection of stories set the dark, blood filled streets of Basin City. Dwight is drawn into a trap by a manipulative ex, Nancy is out for revenge for Hartigan and Johnny is an unbeatable gambler with a point to make.
Review: Do you remember 2005? Revenge of the Sith was putting the final nail in the Star Wars Prequel coffin, Harry Potter was dealing with a Goblet of Fire, Christopher Nolan was starting his Dark Knight trilogy and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was convincing us that it was the start of a new successful franchise. Also Sin City came out and we like it. And now there’s a sequel, almost a full decade later. It’s more of an extension of the original movie than a true sequel being that it follows the exact same design and style. The only character whose story extends further is Nancy, the rest being unconnected material. It’s not bad, especially if you’re a fan of the first, but why they still bothered after such a long delay is a bit strange.
It’s got an impressive ensemble cast with some new performers and proven talents joining the line up. Brittany Murphy’s character is written out, Devon Aoki has been replaced with Jamie Chung, Clive Owen with Josh Brolin and Michael Madsen has been replaced by Jeremy Piven. Michael Clarke Duncan was the perfect casting choice for the unstoppable Manute, but following his death we have Dennis Haysbert. Eva Green is perfectly suited to playing the diabolical Ava, taking the role instead of first choice Angelina Jolie (the production was delayed to accommodate her pregnancy, yet it doesn’t seem to have panned out).
As a comic reader the first movie was a tad dull, the stories being familiar and having no variation in the translation to the screen. Having two new stories is an extra incentive to check this out. ‘The Long Bad Night’, featuring Joseph Gordon Levitt in the main role, is the best of the two, presenting an interesting character whose goal and drive to reach it takes a few interesting turns. ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’ is the weakest part of the film, depicting Jessica Alba’s stripper Nancy hitting rock bottom following the death of Hartigan. Bruce Willis returns as…a ghost. He hangs around in the background while Nancy drinks and looks in mirrors until she resembles a character from a Tim Burton claymation film.
She’s not the only part of the film that winds up looking ridiculous though. Mickey Rourke sticks his prosthetics back on to play Marv but something seems off this time around. He looks more like the news reader from the Muppets.
There’s been accusation of misogamy and sexism levelled at the movie but it feels like a result of the changing times rather than the intent of the film makers. It’s misogynist in the same way The Maltease Falcon is – it’s a part of the noir style, and Sin City is an exaggerated version of it.
If you liked the first and fancy a bit more, go for it.
Rating: SIX out of TEN