Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

scadtkfThe original Sin City was a remarkable achievement. It had a slick, hyper-produced look that made it seem like a comic come to life instead of merely an adaptation. The three stories all had electric characters, whip-smart dialogue, and truly astonishing plot twists. I really cared what happened to Hartigan and Marv and Dwight. Just as important (maybe more important) were some of the supporting characters which were practically cinema icons in the making: Elijah Wood, Nick Stahl, Benicio del Toro.

The sequel retains the look, but ditches most everything else. There are some fun performances, the standout being Eva Green as the titular “dame”. She’s now the go to actress for playing maniacal, evil, often naked, super-hot women in adaptations of Frank Miller graphic novels. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does some nice work as a professional gambler. And you can’t have enough of Mickey Rourke as Marv in any movie.

But I didn’t care nearly enough this time around. This version of Dwight (Josh Brolin as a pre-plastic surgery Clive Owen) is just a bunch of scowling and angst. Hartigan as a ghost is not enough to make the Nancy-wants-revenge plotline interesting. (Though, I have to admit Jessica Alba has dramatically upped her acting ability since the first one.) And even Gordon-Levitt’s storyline gets kneecapped by its own internal logic. (I’ll explain in code, to avoid spoilers… Yes, that ending is what would happen. No, that’s not what I want to see on screen.)

The stories were filled with bloat. Did I need the sequence with Ray Liotta? (No. I did not.) Did I need to see Nancy dropping lower and lower into her depression? (No. I did not.) And what was with that opening sequence with Marv and the frat kids? Pointless.

So, “A” for effort I suppose. But this sequel is simply not worthy of its predecessor.

Dennis Haysbert was in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For with Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis was in…


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