Nearly ten years since our last visit to Basin City, but for all the fondness for brutality being shown in black and white, stylised shine, there isn’t the same energy or business in the sequel.
Following the events that ended 2005’s Sin City, A Dame to Kill For follows three of the original film’s characters: Nancy, Dwight and Marv, as their paths cross and join through the never-ending and merciless night of Sin City.
It feels like this film is five or six years too late, but let me clear something up. Long before Cinema Cocoa I still rated movies annually and in 2005 Sin City topped the list! It was fresh, vile, exciting, Noir and packed with stories like a comic book version of Pulp Fiction. It is has some very unforgettable moments (most of which involved Elijah Wood)
But its 2014 sequel feels a little… empty, as if the original material didn’t have much more to give? (I admit, I’ve never read the comics)
The film opens with everybody’s favourite Marv, and certainly Mikey Rourke appears to be having the most fun in returning to this character of all of them! Bringing the same brutal physicality he did before, but lacking some of the personal vendetta from before; he simply comes to the aid of our two other “heroes”, Dwight and finally Nancy.
While Rourke reprises his role, I was sad to see Clive Owen not returning as Dwight… I love continuity, and this sort of thing bothers me. Don’t get me wrong, Josh Brolin does a great job! In fact he could be on par with Rourke here and stands out from the others, and considering his story involves the Dame in the title, Eva Green’s Ava, you’d hope he would be!
But the sequel’s stories fall short of the original’s intensity, though ten years and such similarly styled missteps as The Spirit has made this series revival difficult, most of it focuses on Ava, a seductress and femme fatale of Basin City. If you are a fan of Eva Green(‘s body) you’ll be happy here! The sequel banks singularly on sex appeal than the original’s dark kaleidoscope of variety. What I take away from this film is Green’s breasts, and men being thrown through a lot of windows!
I had trouble understanding this film’s narrative alongside the 2005 film, especially around the character of Manute… The man with the gold eye. Yet in this sequel he gets his gold eye?? But this is a sequel… It is also sad (alongside Brolin’s recast) that Devon Aoki did not return to play the mute assassin Miho.
The best elements here are involving Jessica Alba as Nancy, who’s story follows off the back of the original film most clearly, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s newcomer Johnny has a great little story.
A Dame to Kill For didn’t feel as memorable as the original, or as faceted, but the style and the characterisations are still as strong and it works well as a Sin City 1.5 rather than a full sequel. The 3D effects were decent too.
A little, a little disappointing, acting like an homage to an incredible film rather than outdoing it like a good sequel should.