Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – 3 out of 5
I love Frank Miller’s Sin City and the film adaption that came out in 2005 was awesome. It felt like Miller’s pages came to life and is one of the few times that Robert Rodriguez was involved in a film and I didn’t feel like my insides dying from his inability to make a decent film (Yes, I don’t think the man is a good filmmaker, let it go!). I never thought I would see a day when some of the other stories from Basin City were adapted into a film but I was pleased to see we were getting a sequel with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Sadly, it wasn’t as epic as the first…
|Marv looks sad that I wasn't as big of a fan of this one as I was for the first.|
|Powers Boothe is a great actor...because he can scare|
the shit out of me sometimes.
Like the first film, A Dame to Kill For is telling more stories from this hard and sinful city. Some of it is taking place before the first film and some of it is happening after. One story sees Marv (Mickey Rouke) taking out some murderous college kids. Another is about an arrogant gambler named Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who comes to Basin City to take the money (and make a surprising reveal) to the corrupt Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Dwight McCarthy is back (but this is pre-reconstructive surgery and he’s no longer played by Clive Owen but Josh Brolin instead) and is forced into the tumultuous hold of an ex-lover named Ava (Eva Green). Finally, we see a tale of revenge as Nancy (Jessica Alba), unable to overcome the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis), decides it’s time to take out Senator Roark once and for all.
|Sure he looks in pain but you take away the blood and it looks like he's overcome with|
soul and the music!
I was pumped for this follow up. I love the comics, I love the first film, and this trailer was just awesome! So awesome that I love it!
However, after sitting through it, I was a little disappointed. The movie isn’t bad but it felt completely empty and didn’t leave the impression on me the first one did.
|Hey look, it's Frank Miller with Marv...that's how he looks smiling, by the way.|
The film is still highly stylized and really captures the spirit and soul of the pages but the film just felt like a Direct-to-DVD sequel that had no real substance to it. The stories are still good, the acting is still good (for the most part), but its shortcomings make me wonder if it was necessary to even make this film.
|Nice crossover event here. We have Stacy Keach playing Pizza the Hut|
|"And one day...I shall be Clive Owen..."|
One of the things I didn’t enjoy about A Dame to Kill For was the fact that several roles were re-cast with new actors. While this is understandable at points—like having Josh Brolin play Dwight before he ended up looking like Clive Owen or having Dennis Haysbert replace the late Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute—but there are times where this hurt the film—like replacing Devon Aoki with Jamie Chung as Miho or having Jeremy Piven replace Michael Madsen as Bob (really? Piven?). I understand that sometimes having to bring a new actor in is a necessary evil in the world of sequels because sometimes an actor dies, an actor hates the project and won’t come back, an actor wants more money, or demands from the producers or audiences require a newer, better actor to take over. However, these replacements kinda made the film feel cheap and like a dash to get quick cash and look like something that never hit the theaters and was instantly shipped to your Walmart discount bin. Additionally, as much as I like Dennis Haysbert (best television President we’ve ever had, in my opinion), I don’t feel he came close to Duncan’s portrayal of Manute. Duncan (rest in peace) was a badass and when Haysbert steps in all I want to do is buy insurance.
|"If you shoot me, you'll never learn how you can save money with Allstate."|
|"Great Scott...I'm in this movie?"|
|Let's be honest, there's a good portion of the viewers who aren't really that preoccupied|
with Alba's acting...
|I'm pretty sure Eva Green's eyes are computer generated...they look like cartoon eyes.|
Yes, the great violence is still here and the film still looks good but it feels hollow and vacuous. The first film was a visual feast and a brutal experience of fun and grit that stayed with you. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is entertaining, amusing, and a decent film but it feels cheap and like a Direct-to-DVD sequel…so, basically, it feels like everything else Rodriguez has been releasing lately (only a little more entertaining).