Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (Dimension Films)

Directors: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez

Writers: Frank Miller, Frank Miller (graphic novels)

Stars: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin

August 2014

This summer saw the release of the follow up to Sin City, a film which not only received universal acclaim, but also had great importance culturally speaking too. Rodriquez now brings us its follow-up, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Expect the (perhaps) unexpected with this gory, visually stunning offering from the visceral, and rather brilliantly, unique director who’s managed to make the contemporary neo-noir film a comfortable fit within modern cinema.

Nine years on director Robert Rodriguez has given us a slice of what was originally a unique picture; violent and edgy, and challenging to watch at times. While not everyone will enjoy this type of, what you might call, art cinema, it can most certainly be appreciated for what Rodriguez and his crew are trying to achieve. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novels (the writer co-directed as well), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a comic book adaptation which constantly reminds you, both visually, and through the use of descriptive dialogue, and continual surrealism, that what you are watching is basically the same as what you read in the books. To achieve that, and to have it come off as still entertaining, is impressive.

A Dame to Kill For picks up pretty shortly where Sin City left off. The city is still gloomy and bleak (represented well through the use of terrible weather, one of the best components of the film) and we join old and new characters, as their stories collide. Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke (the shining star of the whole feature, adding a wonderfully wicked humour) all return, and are supported by new cast members including Powers Booth (gloriously over-acting as the villain of the piece) and Josh Brolin taking over from Clive Owen. Following the same formula that its predecessor involved, ‘A Dame to Kill For revolves around five acts, all of which come to a climatic end. The whole film is rather unfortunately just a re-hash of what audiences’ have already seen, except featuring new locales for the blood-baths that arise, and some characters with exceptional voices and ruthless beauty.

Forgetting the narrative, it is easy to believe that Sin City’ is all about visuals; the exploration of Old Town was missed, and Dawson had no where near enough screen time – this instalment is all about Alba (easily in her best role as Nancy), and Brolin, an actor who always encapsulates his roles well. Featuring jolting camera work, a charismatic cast and some welcomed humour Sin City: A Dame to Kill For serves its purpose as an entertaining ride, with little meaning which doesn’t ask for much from it’s audience. And that’s okay.

 

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is released December 15th on DVD and Blu Ray, which you can pre-order now from Amazon.

All words by Robyn O’Mahoney. This is Robyn’s first post for Louder Than War.

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