A Dame to Kill For

“This rotten town… it soils everybody.”

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a Neo-noir crime thriller that returns to the hyper-violent world created by Frank Miller.

Wrapping up loose ends from the first movie, Miller returns to co-direct with Robert Rodriguez. Like the original movie, Dame depicts a black-and-white intertwining storyline with splashes of color to accentuate the action. Technically, it’s both a prequel, as well as a sequel.

The ensemble cast features many great actors playing diverse characters:
– Micky Rourke’s Marv returns as a thug with a heart of gold.
– Jessica Alba’s Nancy is haunted by Bruce Willis’ ghost
– Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Johnny is on a hot streak and looking for danger
– Josh Brolin’s Dwight is obsessed with an old flame
– Eva Green is a dangerous succubus
– Christopher Lloyd is a drug-addled back-alley doctor
– Rosario Dawson’s Gail is the bad-ass leader of an all-female gang
– Powers Booth’s Senator Roark is impressive as an all-powerful antagonist

These characters are beyond anti-heroes… they all seem to be varying degrees of bad guys with slight shades of good in them. Visiting Sin City is vicious. There’s not a whole lot of happy endings for each of them.

The majority of the plot for A Dame to Kill For is based on Miller’s well-received series of graphic novels. However, there are two original storylines that were written exclusively for the big screen. The setting of Sin City was clearly inspired by a Los Angeles of the past, perhaps from the ’20s or ’30s, where danger lurks behind every corner.

Watching the movie feels like watching an animated comic book: which makes sense, as screenwriter Frank Miller’s graphic novels of the same name are the source material for the flick. Comparing the two Sin City movies, the original felt so innovative; the technology in that movie was groundbreaking and new. Nine years later, it almost feels like it’s no longer relevant. This sequel would have done so much better if it was released seven years ago.

The special effects are pretty good, but cartoon-like at times, just like appearing in a comic book. The visual look is great and intense and all of the actors are great; however, onscreen, they they don’t always have a lot to do.

There’s some very cool extras included on the disk, including the entire movie shown in high speed as it was filmed with the green screen background. I really enjoyed this one! Also, Special Makeup Effects Artist Greg Nicotero (AMC’s The Walking Dead) makes a surprise appearance during the behind-the-scenes makeup and stunt vignettes! It’s great to see the variety of his on-screen work.

Overall, if you liked the first one, you’ll most likely enjoy the Sin City sequel.

Strength: Great visual style and storytelling.
Weakness: Sometimes the actors look a little bored onscreen.
WTF Moment: More than a few of the original actors were recast for this sequel. I prefer multiple movies using the same actors portraying one character, but sadly, that’s not always possible.

Notable Quotes:
– “You’re a peach.”
– “I was feeling lucky.”
– “How’s tricks, stranger?”
– “Never let the monster out.”
– “Nobody’s gettin’ killed tonight.”
– “Death is just like life in Sin City.
– “It was just another Saturday night…”
– “Power is a fragile thing. It tolerates no threat.”
– “Walk down the right back alley of Sin City and you can find anything.”
– “The girls of Old Town have laws, all their own. And they don’t take kindly to cops.”

Review: 3/5