When I was younger, the band Boston was a favorite. To be a fan of Boston meant waiting years and years for new material to be released. Unfortunately, when the new material was bad, those years of waiting just felt empty. After nine-years of waiting for a sequel to Sin City, fans everywhere can rejoice. The constant rumors and fictitious release dates only made the waiting harder. Why? The first movie was a visual delight loved for it’s groundbreaking visuals and colorful characters. When it was released in 2005, the color processing was amazing as it captured the look and feel of the world Frank Miller had created. It was if a graphic novel had come to life. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For attempts to re-capture that early century noir that that made the first movie so great.
When the first scene explodes onto the screen, a big smile grew on my face. I immediately thought, welcome back old friend! This will be great and worth the long wait. Right? Um, right?? While I really wanted to like this movie, apparently my expectations were too big. The imagery is still sexy as hell and the fight sequences still amaze, yet I didn’t like it. Twenty minutes into the movie I found myself bored and drifted in and out of consciousness. Instead of a singular story, there are three independent stories. This worked great in the graphic novel, but did not translate well to the big screen.
At it’s core Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is a revenge film involving three different protagonists: Nancy (Jessica Alba), Dwight (Josh Brolin) and Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Each one is solid enough in their performances, but is something amiss? The most interesting character in Sin City is Marv, yet his involvement throughout the movie is limited.
The movie starts off with a bang as Marv (Mickey Rourke) is recovering from what appears to be a car accident. Marv tries to recall what happened and from this moment on, we are taken on a ride of destruction. From the hammer force of his fists, Marv destroys all of his victims in a matter of minutes. However, this excitement quickly dissolves as the cheesy dialogue sets in. Some of the cheeky wordplay may have been great in the graphic novel and first movie but it doesn’t work as well here. I don’t think Frank Miller intended this to be a comedy yet I found myself laughing at the narration throughout.
One bright spot of the movie is the evil seductress Ava played to perfection by Eva Green. Despite the simple story, Eva embraces her role and steals each scene she appears in. Josh Brolin’s Dwight doesn’t have that same depth. We’re supposed to believe this character is a tortured soul controlled by his inner demons but since the stories are short, the development is not good. What we get instead is a familiar self-loathing character that always seems to find a place in the Frank Miller universe. As stated, I really wanted to like this movie but damn, it’s simply not good. Oh well, here’s to the next nine years.