Friday, August 22, 2014
Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez return to Basin City after nine years to bring summer audiences A Dame to Kill For. This film is mostly a prequel to the last flick and contains two original Sin City tales. Stories fans will already know are A Dame to Kill For and the short Silent Night. Co-Directors Miller and Rodriguez get most of their original cast to return, with a few exceptions. Dwight is now played by Josh Brolin. (though it had to be a different actor for the plot) Michael Clarke Duncan's replacement for Manute however is the most noticeable. While Dennis Haysbert does an admirable job, he lacks the physical presence that Duncan brought, and this hurts his character's credibility. Devon Akoi is replaced by Jamie Chung for Miho and Chung has the screen presence to pull of the role.
A Dame to Kill For is a worthy sequel, though it lacks the excitement of the first, simply because this has been done before. Long time fans will be pleased with the translation of the Dame to Kill For story with both Brolin and Eva Green turning in perfect performances, expertly balancing the tongue in cheek elements with genuine emotion. Mickey Rourke's second turn as Marv is just as good as the first and continues bringing this cult favorite to the screen. Joseph Gordon-Levitt again proves he can handle a pretty tough role well. The film's standout is Powers Boothe as Senator Rourke. His maniacal speeches are performed with inflections that bring the heavy villain to life. He is the man you love to hate.
Both of the new stories are strong, and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt yarn was the most surprising. The continuation of Jessica Alba's Nancy was a let down from what I was hoping for. First and foremost there are multiple dancing sequences that stop the plot dead and provide the director's a chance to have the camera zoom uncomfortably close to Alba's crotch. They are also distracting as stripping sequences where she does not remove any of her clothing. Alba obviously is uncomfortable with onscreen nudity, but the directors could have worked around this in many different ways. It is even more noticeable as both Brolin and Green spend large chunks of their story completely nude. The bulk of her tale is also merely voice-over and dancing sequences. I was eagerly awaiting to the the physically scarred Nancy from the trailers, which makes up a minority of the film. Having her haunted by Hartigan is both a cool way to bring the character back to the screen and handled well. The sequences also add well the the surreal feel of the film.
If you liked the original Sin City flick, you'll probably enjoy this film. It is stylistic perfection with strong performances from most of the cast. While the excitement of the first has definitively worn off, I would recommend you returning to Sin City one last time.