‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Review

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Dir: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Jaime King, Juno Temple, and Christopher Lloyd

Synopsis: Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants

 

 

 

*Reviewer Note:  This will be a spoiler free review*

 

 

It’s been almost ten years since Sin City came out, and at the time the movie made some bold statements. The film followed the graphic novels so close that it felt like we were watching the novel coming to life. It also took a huge leap, technology wise, in using green screen for just about the majority of making the film. The first Sin City was almost beloved by everyone, and everyone asked, where’s our sequel? Well, flash forward to now and we have Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a prequel and sequel with the same set up as the first. A noir, over-the-top violent, narration and sexy story with four intertwined stories based in a city that will eat you up and spit you back out. But the question is if it’s any good. Well, sadly A Dame to Kill For hits all the same beats from the first, but it’s a little late for a sequel.

 

Like the first film, A Dame to Kill For features three stories that take place in Basin City – I mean Sin City. One features Johnny (Gordon-Levitt), a gambler who looks like he doesn’t think things through. Nancy (Alba) who is still stripping but is aiming for revenge for the death of Hartigan (Willis), and then the “Dame to Kill For” story that follows the “Dame” Ava Lord (Green) and Dwight (Brolin) trying to kill each other. While all the stories have their elements, they pretty much share two things in common, Senator Roark (Boothe) and Marv (Rourke).

 

Like I stated before, the movie is intertwined with these three stories and some of the transitions are a bit clucky and murky but the story that obviously takes up most of the screen time (and the middle) is the Ava and Dwight story. The story sometimes feels like a soap opera, but it feels deliberately and connects a bit to the noir theme but lucky Green, Rourke, and Dennis Haysbert as Manute (taking over after Michael Clarke Duncan’s passing) performances save, the otherwise, slightly more than average story. Which is a shame, since the story is probably one of the most famous and favorite stories from the graphic novels (next to Hell and Back).

 

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Brolin is okay as the pre-surgical Dwight. He brings his usual gruffness to the role and has a couple of standout moments but the segment belongs to Eva Green (which I’ll get to). Christopher Meloni and Jeremy Piven play cops Mort and Bob respectively but Meloni gets the better role of the two, in what turns out to be a weird and maybe unnecessary arc that really goes nowhere and is only there to show how powerful Ava Lord is. Mickey Rourke, who pops up as Marv throughout the movie, has his strongest outing during this part, as does Haysbert as Manute who comes off as a powerhouse, and seeing the two fight each other was pretty cool.

 

But like I said, this story and maybe the movie, belongs to Eva Green. I’m a fan of Green and not because she’s nice to look at, but because she brings something different to every role and although her character is a typical femme fatale, Green does her best to make Ava her own. However, if guys need another reason to watch the movie, you’d probably like to know that Green has the least amount of wardrobe than any character, maybe ever.

 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Johnny story is rather interesting. Gordon-Levitt brings his usual charm and makes Johnny a pretty likeable character. Although, it’s not that hard considering he’s surrounded by crooked cops and dirty senators playing poker in the back of a strip joint. But, Johnny’s story is really here for two reasons; to show how Sin City works, who runs it, and brutal it can be, and to show how viscous Senator Roark is. Other than that and a cameo by Christopher Lloyd as a “doctor” the story really serves no other purpose that prove Sin City is not a city you want to live in.

 

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The final segment is Nancy’s story. Alba’s Nancy is more matured in a sense; she’s still a stripper but now heavily drinks before, during, and after performing. All she wants is to kill Boothe’s Roark for driving Hartigan to kill himself so she can live. Bruce Willis pops in as a spirit for the lack of a better word, following Nancy and sees how hard it has been for her since he’s left. Alba is okay as the tortured soul but Powers Boothe as the villainous Senator Roark is great, but Boothe is always great as villain, but at least he has more to do than the first Sin City.

 

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While it might sound like I didn’t like the movie, A Dame to Kill For does have some cool moments. The whole movie is filled with essentially cool screensavers and some great performances by Green, Boothe, Gordon-Levitt, and Rourke. The fight between Marv and Manute was cool to see and could have been bland if it wasn’t for one particular instance. Then there is Miho, played by Jaime Chung who replaces Devon Aoki (because she was pregnant), who basically glides around with samurai swords and a bow-and-arrow and kills anybody that she looks at because, why not.

 

All in all, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is more or less of the same as Sin City. Whether that is a good thing is completely up to you when you watch it. I for one, didn’t mind the sequel, but considering we waited soo long for it, it lost some of its charm and effect on me, and it was kind of boring sometimes.

 

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

3.5 out of 5

Anticipated Movies of 2013 Part 3 (Last One)

Last part of my anticipated movies for 2013

Oct

4th: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

            Many people have been waiting for a sequel to one of the few great comic book adaptations and after years of waiting directors Frank Millar (one of the creators of the original source material) and Robert Rodriguez are going to fulfill our wishes.

 

11th: Oldboy

            One of the best revenge thrillers I’ve seen and one of the best Korean movies as well. Even though many people are against it some were eased into it when Spike Lee was announced as the director and Josh Brolin was cast as the lead with Sharlto Copley as the villain and rising star Elizabeth Olsen joining too. Brolin has been talking up how the film has original director Chan-wook Park’s blessing and is not holding back on the brutality and dark tones.

           

18th: Malavita, The Seventh Son, No Good Deed

            Malavita is directing by Luc Besson who in my mind always makes enjoyable movies. This one has a mob family being relocated and having to fit in. Although not awesome sounding Besson is not the one who makes “dramas” so we can only assume that theirs going to be some action. Seventh Son is a 18th century movie that deals with magic. No Good Deed stars Idris Elba and is directed by Sam Miller who has worked with Elba on his hit show Luther so I’m in.

25th: The World End

The last installment in their so called “Blood & Ice Cream” trilogy, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back again. This time dealing with five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival. The rest of the cast includes semi-regular co-stars Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan.

 

Nov

1st: Ender’s Game

            I’ve never read Orson Scott Card’s book (I intend to do that before this comes out) which this is based on but a lot of people are very excited for this. I’m in for another reason, the impressive cast. Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley

 

8th: Thor: The Dark World

Although some thought Thor wasn’t a good movie or Marvel movie for that matter, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not just because it was a Marvel proptery that was setting up The Avengers but because it had such great performances by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. With The Dark World it’s promising an even dark tone that Thor was hinting at and who better to bring that then Alan Taylor, the man responsible for many great episodes of Game of Thrones

 

22nd: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Frozen

Although I didn’t really enjoy Hunger Games as much as I thought I would I’m still looking forward to Catching Fire since it’s a pretty nice set up for the final installments. Disney going for another hit animated movie in Frozen which is about a young girl named Anna journey to find Snow Queen and end the perpetual winter prophecy that has fallen over their kingdom.

 

Dec

13th: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I was very surprised with An Unexpected Journey and I can’t wait to see what Peter Jackson and Co. do next.

 

20th: Anchorman: The Legend of Continues, Saving Mr. Banks,

            Anchorman was probably one of the funniest/dumbest (dumb in a good way) movies I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Saving Mr. Banks is about how Walt Disney tried to get Mary Poppins to the big screen and how better to play Walt then Tom Hanks himself right?

 

25th: 47 Ronin, Jack Ryan

            47 Ronin has been delayed multiple times within the last two years for various reasons and it looks like it’s finally coming out. Set in the 18th century it centers on a band of samurai who set out to avenge the death of their master and who’s playing one of the samurai’s? That’s right Keanu Reeves. Jack Ryan is a Tom Clancy’s creation that has been played by Alec Baldwin (Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (Sum of All Fears) but now will be played by rising star Chris Pine and I for one can not wait.