Nobody had ever seen anything like Sin City when it hit screens back in 2005. Ten years later, the impact of this sequel is much less. Robert Rodriguez created an original visual language that brought Frank Miller’s comic book to life, paving the way for the likes of Zack Snyder’s 300 and Miller’s own The Spirit. However, the freshness of the visual dynamic is gone, meaning that the film now leans heavily on the story and while Frank Miller’s script contains all the hardboiled elements of the first film, this time around the interweaving stories lack depth. A real shame because Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has a cast to die for, with Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Jessica Alba, Ray Liotta and Bruce Willis (in what looks like an easy day’s work for a $1 million payday) counted amongst its ranks.
It’s hard to pinpoint where it all goes wrong, but this dive into Basin City doesn’t work. The interconnecting stories don’t hang together as well as they did in Miller and Rodriguez’s original effort (you could argue they don’t hang together at all). The film has more in common with Miller’s disastrous The Spirit than the original Sin City. I guess familiarity does breed contempt.
On a performance level, Brolin, Rourke and Green (the titular Dame To Kill For – literally – she spends the majority of her screen time topless) bring the goods, spitting out Miller’s hard-boiled dialogue with the required grit. They help the film come to life, but they’re left stranded by the inert story. This is Green’s second sequel to a Frank Miller adaptation, having starred in 300: Rise of An Empire. That film tried to be more than a simple retread of the Zack Snyder‘s original, adding an extra dynamic to what took place in the original. However, it’s business as usual with Sin City and it seems like Rodriguez and Miller went into it with a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality. It’s a retread of the original, with nothing new added to the mix. If as much time was spent on shaking-up the script than it was on shooting Jessica Alba gyrating on stage then we could have something special.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For isn’t that bad when taken on its own merits. However, it pales in comparison to the 2005 original, lacking new story elements to bring extra pizazz to Rodriguez’s visuals. It’s not a terrible film, it’s just not a very good one.
This blu-ray looks great and the behind the scenes goodies show how Robert Rodriguez brought this comic book to life.