Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

It’s not quite “the sequel no one demanded”, but coming nine years after the original Sin City it does seem fair enough to ask why they bothered. Especially as much of what made the original Sin City work was a then-unique style: a decade on and comic book movies that look like comic books aren’t exactly hard to come by.
Using the same anthology format as the first film, this is a prequel to the first – largely so Marv (Mickey Rourke) can still be around, though his role in two separate stories is simply to be the muscle that kills a bunch of hired goons while the real hero goes after the bad guy. And that’s hardly the only part where this feels like it’s repeating itself: the titular tale is the only story (aside from Marv’s opening murder spree) taken from Frank Miller’s original Sin City comics, and it’s an uninspired tale of a femme fatale enlivened only by Josh Brolin and Eva Green in the main roles. The rest of the stories revolve around evil Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe), either facing down supernaturally lucky poker player (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or being threatened by stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba), who herself is being haunted by the ghost of the cop (Bruce Willis) who died to protect her in the first film.
In the comics these simplistic, overblown stories worked (when they did work) thanks to the strength of Miller’s artwork; while there’s the occasional striking composition here, generally this just looks cheap and slapdash, the over-stylised visuals taking away from what little emotional content the stories themselves may have had. The first Sin City had novelty on its side; this hard-boiled saga’s now well off the boil.
By Anthony Morris