Review – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
by John Seedhouse
“How did I get here? What have I done?” asks Mickey Rourke’s character Marv as we crash headlong back into Basin City. From the off, director Robert Rodriguez drops us straight into the noir landscape of author and co-director Frank Miller’s comic book world. As in the original 2005 film we are in a stylized world of enigmas, violence and nice coats – interwoven tales that both prequel and sequel the original movie around Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For piece.
If you haven’t seen the first Sin City then I would suggest you seek it out, if only to get familiar with the unique use of GreenScreen, comic art and CGI that paints this visceral world.
Have a look at the preview if you haven’t already
Sin City is a land of power, corruption and death. It’s a place that chews up, crushes and maims it’s citizens. Miller and Rodriguez have kept the winning formula of limited colour splashes. The titular “Dame”, played by Eva Green, smoulders in noir lighting with just the blood red lipstick screaming danger. Given her recent outstanding turns in both 300 Rise of an Empire (also Miller) and television’s Penny Dreadful expectations of her here are pretty high and she commands her scenes with trademark sexy psychosis.
This isn’t a one star piece though. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is an anthology and the ensemble cast are all carefully selected. Sin City was an uber-stylish graphic novel universe and the director’s play is shot for page. The cast have to become the reader’s expectation – a precise performance made harder by the pure GreenScreen shooting. Hunt down the GreenScreen only releases on YouTube for yourself. Josh Brolin replaces (or should that be prefaces) Clive Owen as Dwight and fleshes out the jarring nature of the character’s interactions with Rosario Dawson’s Gail from the first movie.
Powers Boothe returns as the utterly corrupt Senator Roark looking identical to his last appearance and ramps up the feeling that nobody survives the taint of the city.
I often think that the sign of a good movie is when the audience just surrender to the ride and when Mrs L pointed out during the end credits that Sin City: A Dame to Kill for is “a seriously violent film” I had to confess that I really hadn’t noticed. For the record, it is violent. It is bloody. death is innovative and dispatched with a certain casualness.
As Hartigan says, “Death is just like life in Sin City. It always wins.”
Should you go?
I get a certain feeling of dread watching Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Not because of the film – it’s a fabulous chunk of NOIR but precisely because that works against it with audiences. It should be an uber-cool night out in the way that Pulp Fiction was but it won’t be and that is a shame. It is going to do great on BD and DVD and that will be missing the point. This is big screen 3D sensory overload – in your face hyper-reality and should be seen in a massive theatre. Ignore the couple of whiny reviews out there – they either didn’t see the film, or walked in wanting to hate it.
Five ninja sword deaths and a back of gratuitous naked breasts out of six barrels.
About the author
John was accompanied by sexy femme fatale Mrs L. He is currently adjusting venetian blinds and looking moody with a fedora and a decanter of scotch. His cat looks perplexed. You can follow him on Twitter or offer him work via LinkedIn.
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