Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin
The lives of the hardened and damaged citizens of Sin City cross one another as Dwight (Brolin) enlists the help of Marv (Rourke) to help protect Ava (Eva Green) the woman that he loves, but this uncontrollable love may lead to his demise. Meanwhile Gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) turns up to avenge some personal vendettas, while Nancy (Alba) vows revenge for the death of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) on the corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe).
In 2005 many applauded the then cutting edge technology and style of Sin City, and though it admittedly looked good (especially on the big screen), with every viewing the film got a bit more boring and was ultimately a case of style over substance, but at least it was a still a bit of vacuous fun and had an element of swagger about it. Well, nine years later we have the sequel, and it is a case of the same style with even less substance. Though it is certainly not quite as bad as Frank Miller’s abysmal directorial effort The Spirit, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is still a pretty boring film with unlikable characters and horrendous dialogue.
The novelty of a predominantly black and white screen with things such as character’s eyes, hair or clothes being a different bright colour has well and truly worn off, it can only go so far and take the shininess away of Rodriguez playing with colours and you are left with basically nothing and a truly pointless sequel. Oh, of course there are always the shameful leery shots of women. In typical Rodriguez/ Tarantino fashion it would be argued that they are being self-aware, post modern and trashy and leery for the sake of it, well that is a novelty that had also well and truly warn off before it started. Admittedly Sin City is not in the same ball park as Machete Kills for that or stupid over the top violence, but it isn’t far away.
Thank God for the cast of big names that the material, Rodriguez, Miller and the entire film truly does not deserve to have as otherwise this film would be hideous. The natural charisma of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Powers Boothe and Josh Brolin do elevate the material, and it is indeed the story featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt that has the most potential, but it falls short. Meanwhile Eva Green certainly enjoys herself in her femme fatale role as the titular dame that is apparently worth killing for and gives the usual over the top performance that we have come to expect from her and is actually incredibly irritating.
The famous names do just about make Sin City: A Dame to Kill For watchable, but the hideous dialogue makes the film quite embarrassing to watch. The deluded stoicism of the completely straight faced delivery of what Rodriguez and Miller probably think to be profound, witty, philosophical and most importantly ‘cool’ sound bites may be ok in a graphic novel but in a film with as little substance or actual good storytelling as this, just make for very boring and quite embarrassing viewing.
The characters too are all extremely unlikeable, and more importantly, uninteresting. I love a film noir anti hero as much as anyone else, but they have to have some kind of redeeming or likeable quality, and the storytelling and writing is so poor that it is just hard to care or even be interested by anything that happens on screen. As much as Rodriguez and Miller try to disguise their hideous storytelling by the occasional flash of bright colour while simultaneously insulting the audience’s intelligence (not the first time Rodriguez has done that), this film’s extremely poor box office return proves that the cinema-going public are not quite as stupid as Rodriguez thinks.
An unwanted sequel where Rodriguez and Miller complacently think they can pull the same trick twice and the audience will not notice just how poor Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is. Well Bob, we are not that stupid and all that are yet to see this dull and very poorly written sequel should just not bother wasting their time.