Friday, 5 September 2014

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For: Movie Review

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For: Movie Review

Cast: Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

The original Sin City, which bowed in 2005, was a blast, a graphic novel brought to life on the screen and drenched in pastiche and noir.

So, it's a surprise to see that a sequel's taken nearly 10 years to be made; in this latest, there's another raft of adaptations from Frank Miller's books and a few new sequences written especially for the neo noir anthology film all interlaced into one piece.

The kernel of the movie centres around a flesh-baring Eva Green as femme fatale Ava Lord who manipulates her former lover and world weary Dwight (Josh Brolin) to help her out; fashioned around this tale of sex, lies and betrayal is a story about Joseph Gordon Levitt's card shark Johnny out for revenge on Powers Boothe's corrupt senator and Jessica Alba's Nancy seeking to finish off what started years ago with "That Yellow Bastard".

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For continues the cinematic trend laid down by the first flick a decade ago - through a sleazy world brought to life in all its monochrome glory, with splashes of colour - and even brings some welcome new additions in the form of a vampy and trampy Eva Green, who provides much needed life to this second outing which sags into tedium at times despite its shallowly stylistic exterior.

Green's perhaps one of the only reasons that the second works in places; her seductively exposed energy fizzles the black and white world with colour (particularly her green eyes) and sparkles in among the moody lurid stylings painted up on the screen. Noir has thrived on the femme fatale trope, and Green certainly earns her place in the pantheon of the past. But she's one of only two well written women in the piece (along with Alba's troubled exotic dancer Nancy) and the film feels bereft when it shifts its compromised morals to other targets and stories.

Stylistically, Rodriguez carries on the great work pioneered nearly a decade ago, with bold colors imbuing the cinematic palette with striking visuals; reds, greens and blues jump out of the monochrome world and give the eyes a dazzling feast to gorge upon. But it's nowhere near as visually bold as it was many years ago, and unfortunately leads to some of the feeling that Sin City : A Dame to Kill For is simply going through the motions.

The old timers from the first get varying degrees of success in their second outings with Rourke's Marv being the best served. But Willis' Hartigan is denied much time and as such, being a pivotal driving force for the narrative of the final serving, the emotional impetus is weakened by his relative absence.

Granted, there's some life in these streets (Eva Green, a cameo from Christopher Lloyd as a heroin using doctor, Gordon-Levitt as the card shark) but there's just not quite enough to breathe any kind of real cinematic colour into the stylishly created black and white world of Sin City.


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