"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is a movie released about five years too late.
A sequel to the 2005 breakout hit, the movie reminds us how intoxicating Miller's visual style can be. It's still innovative nine years later and it's a shame nobody showed up to see it this past weekend. I found myself smiling for most of the 1 hour, 45 minute run time of Sin City 2, even if the artistic style can be a bit overbearing at times. The formula is almost exactly the same as the first movie (which I still think is one of the best graphic novel adaptations ever made). Frank Miller is the writer and co-director and subtlety has never been his strong suit. That works perfectly with Robert Rodriguez, who you could argue employs a similar strategy in his movies. Mickey Rourke is the clear star here, once again, returning to the role of Marv. Rourke clearly loves this role and delivers some of the movie's funniest and most entertaining lines. Marv is still protecting Lucy (Jessica Alba). It amazes me how much better Alba is in the "Sin City" franchise than anything else she's ever done. Her career is almost entirely a joke, with the actress relying on her good looks to get by. She has plenty of ammo in that department. Line reading? Not so much.
The cast is predictably stacked, just like the first film. Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christopher Meloni, Rosario Dawson, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Ray Liotta, Josh Brolin (stepping in for Clive Owen to play Dwight), and Eva Green. I mention Eva Green last because she's another stand out in a cast full of A-listers. Green is naked for most of her time on-screen. This is a family review, so I won't endorse the choice one way or another. However, let me just say, she looks comfortable and rightfully so. But it's her eyes and her seductive voice that take command. Josh Brolin's Dwight can't stay away from her, despite her continued attempts to destroy his life. It's one of many interesting vignettes throughout the movie. Some plot points work better than others, like all scattered-story cinema. But Green is always entertaining and she's not afraid to show the strong and burly men on-screen that she's capable of destroying another man's soul with her sexuality and wit. She mentions early on that she's not a very good shot, but she doesn't need weapons to be as powerful as the big boys. All in all, I think "Sin City 2" is mostly a success. It's a little rough around the edges, but that's because the environment and source material calls for it. MATINEE.
I was not too excited to see "Sin City, A Dame to Kill For," I will admit. This sequel stands alone.
I have not seen the first "Sin City," but I do plan on watching it. Going into any movie, you've got to take it for what it's worth. And this movie did, I believe, do what the filmmakers intended it to do. It's a story of Sin City - corruption, revenge, sex, gambling, murder. It's a dark movie and the film noir feel is definitely enhanced by the filming effects.
Since this is a black and white movie, the little bit of color here and there, for certain characters, does not go unnoticed by the audience. Maybe the most obvious - the green, envious eyes of a woman named Ava, played by Eva Green, the dame to kill for. She is a beautiful sociopath who uses men to her advantage. There are a lot of symbols if you look for them in this film.
You will recognize a lot of the actors, too. Each character has his or her own sad story, which all intertwine for the most part. This is not a feel good film. There is no moral takeaway. It is entertaining, maybe not the type of movie I would gravitate to normally, but I did enjoy this, more than I thought actually.
This film earns its "R" rating. The violence can be a little much at times and is graphic. Was it all necessary? No, I don't think so.
I could even argue I may have liked this film more than if I had seen the first, because I have not seen a movie quite like this. In the film, Sin City seems to have a hold on everyone in it. No one is immune. Power and money are what they're all after and darkness seems to be everywhere. A dark, graphic novel on the big screen is what this is. It's a movie that you have to be in the mood for. If you are, go to a matinee or rent it when it comes to DVD. MATINEE.
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