Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (Dimension Films)
Rated R for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use.
Starring Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime King, Juno Temple, Stacy Keach, Marton Csokas, Jude Ciccolella, Jamie Chung, Julia Garner, Lady Gaga, Alexa PenaVega, Crystal McCahill.
Written by Frank Miller.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller.
I suppose I’m one of those people who don’t “get” Robert Rodriguez. I understand he’s got a flair for graphic violence meant to convey some sort of sardonic relevance – but mostly I see grimy, sexualized cheap tricks produced for shock value in his work. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is the second Sin City collaboration between Rodriguez and graphic novelist Frank Miller, who created the comic book/graphic novel series of the same name.
Like the first Sin City, the movie is really a series of short stories told in vignettes. All of the individual stories involve Marv (Mickey Rourke), Sin City’s indestructible deliverer of justice. The first story is about Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a smug gambler who takes on Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) in a poker game. When Roark loses, he sends his thugs to capture Johnny, beat him, and break the fingers on his “game hand.” Later, Johnny recovers and goes back to face Roark again, with similar results,
The second narrative revolves around Dwight (Josh Brolin) a private eye who reunites with a former flame named Ava (Eva Green). Ava claims she’s married a masochist, who has her tortured by a huge fellow named Manute (Dennis Haysbert) for pleasure. While determined to save her, Dwight soon discovers Ava might have alternative plans.
The third story is a sequel of sorts, centering on Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), a stripper. Her protector and friend John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) took his own life to save her from Roark in the first movie, and his ghost continues to haunt her as she continues her career in Sin City’s seediest dive. Determined to get revenge, she stages her own mutilation to entice Marv to help her bring Roark down.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has the same visual black and white elements of the first film, but much less coherent storytelling. Whereas the first movie flowed together, the latest one seems more like a disjointed excuse to show off Eva Green’s naked body and a lot of gore. Yes, the computerized effects and camera angles make it feel like your experiencing a comic, but why go to all the trouble of making a major motion picture?
Here’s the deal: If you like graphic novels and love to wallow in all that noir grunge, then I would suggest you read the Frank Miller graphic novels. Seeing such things on screen seems like a big waste of time.
I don’t understand why anyone would find any joy in embracing such darkness, but I guess I just don’t understand Rodriguez. Maybe I don’t want to.
Want to know what Jenniffer Wardell thinks of the movie? Read her review here.