After 9 years the world is invited back into Sin City, and with very little having changed over 9 years, besides who is playing who, it makes for an odd viewing experience.
Review (with Spoilers)
When Sin City came out back in 2005, it was a major hit. It had a lot of the who’s who of action movies, excellent stories, and seemed to transcend being a bloody tale and actual was quality cinema. Jump ahead to 2014 and two of the first movie’s actors have died, one got replaced, and honestly as you watch you almost feel like maybe you should have watched the first one again just to remind yourself of what is going on. Though the real question is: is Sin City: A Dame to Kill For worth the 9-year wait?
Characters & Story
The film mixes 2-3 short stories of which Marv (Mickey Rourke) is the one who connects all of them. Starting from worse story to best: you have Nancy’s (Jessica Alba) story which deals with her wanting revenge for John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) death in the first movie, as well as what she went through as a kid; Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) going up against Senator Rorke (Powers Boothe) in order to not only best him, and embarrass him, but make him remember his existence; and then there is Dwight (Josh Brolin) and the femme fatale Ava Lord (Eva Green) who gets him mixed up in some serious drama. This combination of stories, which mostly take place in the present, though Dwight’s in the past, all create a bloody tale in which mutilation and bullets are the mainstay.
If you are the type of person who likes loads of violence, a good amount of nudity, and that is all you really want is some violent bloody fantasy, then you’ll love this movie. Especially if you are the type who love machismo men, who mostly look like action stars from the 80s and back, fighting it out, fist to face, gun in hand, or even with blade in hand. Then, when it comes to your women, you want them bad ass, but still made for male consumption. I’m talking about women who are either scantily clad or nude, the ones who no matter who dangerous they are, or seem, they never become equals to the men when it comes to story. If that is what you like, you’ll love Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
But, sarcasm aside, when it comes to the film I must admit I did like Johnny’s story going against Senator Rorke for what little edge Gordon-Levitt has as an actor, he uses it to his full capabilities. Then with Dwight and Ava’s story, Green makes the perfect femme fatale and really plays up her sexuality to the point you may even feel seduced by her. And quite honestly, I feel that if more movies were willing to be VoD, and be less than 90 minutes, I think that story could have made a good mini-movie, with some things changed.
However, largely you’ll find in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For that all the compelling stories you may have expected to see, due to what we got in the original, are watered down to fit in more fight scenes and more sexual content. Of which both are shoved down your throat so much that pretty much a quarter of your way through the film you will be so desensitized to it that it makes the issues of the story blaring obvious.
Take for example Jessica Alba, who is but a pretty face who hardly justifies such a large role in the film. If just because, even after 9 years, she hasn’t proved herself to really be made to be anything besides the hot girlfriend. So with this meaty role, honestly it feels wasted on her. Especially since her role isn’t a supporting one in the first movie, and while Marv tries to Nancy not seem like a tool, Alba’s acting makes that situation a real uphill battle.
Though it isn’t just Nancy story which is an issue, but also trying to tie all three of the films stories with Marv in the middle. For while Marv remains an interesting character, he isn’t so good that he can connect the horrible Nancy story, to the decent Johnny story, and then Dwight’s and make it all seem like one coherent movie. For he isn’t the star, he is a supporting player in each story.
But perhaps one of the most glaring issues is that the story doesn’t get better with time, if anything it starts at its peak, with Dwight and Ava, and gets progressively worse. For with Johnny and then Nancy’s stories following, and them all not taking place simultaneously in the film, it makes it so you can clearly see the film degrade. To the point where the credits hit, you are glad it is over for you pretty much have been looking at your watch for a good hour or so.
Overall: Skip It
Unless you really want to see what Eva Green’s breasts looks like in 2014, or like seeing Black and White violence, I honestly don’t know why you want to see this. It lacks the style and type of story which made the first film a hit, and really after 9 years this is truly a disappointment. To the point that it truly seems like the type of film which because a contract was signed, and there was an assumption money could be made, that is why it was released. Which would explain, at least in my area, why seeing this film in 2D was difficult. They probably knew it was bad so they opted for as many 3D showings as possible so it can make some sort of money.