Film Review – ‘Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For’

A collection of intertwining tales that showcase a selection of Basin City’s infamously nefarious inhabitants cross paths in a bloody exchange of black and white comic book visuals.

Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez return to Sin City after the 2005 original treated us to a slick and visceral gore fest with a circular plot that jumped to and fro. With a star studded cast and innovative comic book styling, it was a sure hit. Fast forward to 2014, and nine years later we have more of the same, which is the good and bad thing about A Dame To Kill For.

The original was a twisted web of characters and gore, filled in with lashings of brutal violence and dark broody characters and the sequel returns favourites Marv, John Hartigan and Nancy for more of the same. The new plot lines again intersect and jump around but these seem like they were rejected ideas from the first. It’s not a prequel, nor a sequel instead choosing to dance around the first films stories in order to expand or provide additional backstory. Joseph Gordan Levitts character is an interesting addition to the series as he takes on Senator Roark but Eva Green is the true prize of the films casting. Just as sinisterly sexy as she was in 300: Rise of an Empire she owns every scene, and is a captivating femme fatale even in various states of undress.

New characters and plot aside it suffers from resting on the laurels of the first making this addition feel stale in comparison. The elements are all there but lacking more of the grit and nuance which made the first so special. It’s as if it’s going through the motions, ticking off requirements as it goes. Moody black and white and selective color visuals? Check. Gory over the top action? By the bloodied bucketload. Snappy dry wit and one liners? Present, but without conviction. It’s a nice follow up/prequel/addition to the Sin City franchise and no doubt the Miller/Rodriguez team will attempt a third, but at this rate the plot continuity is already so muddled you’ll need to take a pen and paper in to make notes of when everything is supposed to slot together. It’s easy to make the Film Noir comparisons, but this instalment doesn’t seem to be up to the task, replacing grit with an injection of violence. Still enjoyable and interesting to watch, highly recommendable for fans of the first but nevertheless still a shabby copy of the original.


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