#REVIEW: “FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Nine years ago, Robert Rodriguez and original Graphic Novel Writer Frank Miller unleashed Sin City: an Anthology of stories filled to the brim with booze, broads, bullets, gore, misogyny, and testosterone-filled monologues. There was always talk of a Sequel to this odd yet spectacularly cool Film, but months passed to years and most of us probably thought it would never happen. But it finally has, and the results are better than I ever could have expected.
Taking the route of Rodriguez and Miller’s first Opus, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is another Anthology of stories told in pieces in varying order, starting with and all featuring the hulking brute Marv (Mickey Rourke, chronology and continuity be damned!). Nancy (Jessica Alba) is still reeling from the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis), and swears revenge on the Man involved, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a hotshot Poker Player, and bites off more than he can chew when he faces off against Roark. And Dwight (Josh Brolin) is trying to fix his life, but gets drawn back to his former Lover Ava (Eva Green) without thinking much to the reasoning or consequences of doing so.
Much like every Rodriguez Film in the past 15 years, A Dame to Kill For is a bit verbose and lengthy. Despite being 20 minutes shorter than the previous Film, it still feels like it goes on too long. But with that said, this is probably the best Film he has directed since his Planet Terror Segment in Grindhouse. The Cinematography and Art Direction are just as magnificent, maybe even more so than the original Film. This Sequel is still saturated in black and white, but the splashes of colour are a lot more frequent and artistic. The added use of 3D really notches things up, allowing the frames of Miller’s Graphic Novels to really come alive.
Acting wise, there is not one sub-par effort here no matter how melodramatic or silly their dialogue and actions become. Brolin, Rourke and even Gordon-Levitt (despite having the most half-cooked and inane Storyline in the Film) are all quite good in their roles. Alba has never put in a performance this good, and Rosario Dawson puts in another great turn as “Warrior-Woman” Gail. But the Film belongs both to Boothe and Green (who also appeared in March’s 300: Rise of an Empire, another long delayed Sequel to a Miller-based Film), who are both having a total blast being deliciously-evil at every turn. While Boothe is a Villain at all times, it is a delight to see Green change from caring and sympathetic to outright dastardly, often in the same scene. She is a gorgeous Femme Fatale and embodies exactly what it means to be the titular Dame to Kill For.
While there are some issues – namely continuity and its Story – Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is an enjoyable Trip back into the Hell Hole created by Rodriguez and Miller. It may have come nearly a decade after its Predecessor, but it looks incredible and the performances are all much better than expected. It may not have the heart or the edge of the first Film (or even the “new face” I hoped would show up), but fans of the original will not be disappointed.
eOne Films release FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR on Friday, August 22, 2014.