A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
For a sequel that was released almost a decade after the original and was pushed back an entire year, the follow up to one of the most iconic modern neo-noir graphic novel adaptations was a let down, but only because of the immense hype that clouded over it.
Returning once again to the coolest, roughest and most unpleasant city in America, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” follows on from the events that transpired in “Sin City” (2005) and at points appears to be spliced in between stories from the original. Once again we get to witness the lives of these hardened but broken characters, crushed by the unbearable city and relentlessness of brutality, in all forms.
The returning cast includes Mickey Rourke’s “Marv”, Bruce Willis’ “Hartigan”, Rosario Dawson’s “Gail” and Jessica Alba’s “Nancy”, along with some new faces including Josh Brolin, Joesph Gordon-Levitt, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Jamie King and Eva Green.
The cast is extensive, and the stories are engaging, but there is a spark that is missing this time around; a kick, an edge, an element of depth.
Primarily based around the characters of Dwight (Brolin); a hard, rugged and powerful man, and Ava (Green); an archetypal noir femme fatale, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is quite a typical film when it is broken down, especially for a noir.
The seductive, empowering and domineering Ava is the perfect ingredient to break through the shell of Dwight, a character that is perfectly suited for a gritty, raw noir. The chemistry is definitely there, and the progression of plot is good, but not great.
Josh Brolin is the perfect choice for the character of Dwight, and whoever’s idea it was to cast him should be commended; he is one of the strongest elements of the film. This is not taking anything away from Clive Owen’s excellent performance as Dwight in the original, in fact it seems strange to rcast the character, but nevertheless, Brolin proves himself fit for the role. Eva green is also a fantastic central female character – she personifies everything about a professional noir seductress.
She has the traditional femme fatale persona down pat and is not shy when it comes to showing the audience her……..acting abilities.
There is an excellent story surrounding Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character Johnny; a slick, confident young gambler that supposedly ‘never loses’. His quick whit, enticing charm and classy presence all fit into the themes and formula of the city and story which equates to an enjoyable viewing experience.
It is disappointing the way that Johnny’s story seems to go though. It starts off so strong and really engages the viewers, but after about the halfway point in his chapter, when Powers Boothe’s character Senator Roarke ties in former plot lines, it gets a little out of hand.
It is disappointing, especially from how brilliant JGL’s character looked from the trailers.
There are some really enjoyable visuals in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”. The graphic effects that were utilised so well in the first film make another appearance in the sequel.
The splashes of colour amongst the edgy black and white pallet add interest and focus to the story and characters, while the cut aways to silhouettes and comic-like imagery are the illustrated icing on the visual green-screen cake.
Being pushed back and delayed for so long did not work in this film’s favour. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” was once again a very enjoyable film from a visual point of view, but as far as the stories were concerned, they weren’t handled as well as the original and it takes away a critical ingredient from the experience as a whole.
The performances are noteworthy, and the coolness factor remains very strong. It is a relatively enjoyable sequel, but it lacks the heart of the first.
The title is once again off though. With the limited amount of clothes seen on Eva Green, it really should be called “Skin City”…