Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Is almost ten years too long to go between making a sequel of a movie that not many people went to the theater to see in the first place?  Yeah… I think so.  I'm one of those that saw Robert Rodriguez's first 'Sin City' in the theater, and I enjoyed it.  The look, the feel, the style… the movie had some chutzpah, that much I have to say.  Many, many more saw the movie when it was released to DVD and a large number of those people also enjoyed the movie.  So if the Powers that Be were to make a sequel to this movie just a year or two later, after all these people loved it on DVD, it might've had a chance.  Yes, this sequel might be a little lackluster, say like 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' is a little lackluster, but it had a chance.  Ten years after the fact… not so much. 

This version of 'Sin City' seems a little more disjointed than the last one, if I remember correctly… it has been a number of years… starting off with Marv (Mickey Rourke) eviscerating some asshole college kids.  No real purpose to this particular scene other than to remind us what psycho whackjob Marv is.

Now it's off to that strange gogo club where nobody gets naked to watch Nancy (Jessica Alba) do her dance.  All Nancy really wants to do is kill the completely hateful Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe) for the death her father (Bruce Willis)… who is floating in this movie earning some easy money… but alas she just can't bring herself to do this thing.  Back to her later.

Who we really need to focus on is Dwight, who no longer looks like Clive Owen but now bears a shocking resemblance to Josh Brolin.  Something about plastic surgery.  I can't remember.  Dwight is a photographer who takes dirty pictures of bad people doing bad things, until he gets a call from the Dame this title speaks of, that being the beguiling bag of beautiful trouble called Ava, as played by the beguiling Eva Green.  We love us some Eva Green here at the FCU because she has become a Market of One.  That being the respected actress who is completely shameless.  I do believe she is the only one of those working today.  Twenty or so years ago, that actresses name was Nicole Kidman. 
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Anyway… Ava, who completely devastated Dwight's heart some years ago, is being abused by her husband and would like Dwight to help her out of this situation.  Dwight tries to fight it, says no, but this is a woman who has an aversion to underwear and a love of being soaking wet, and as such, she usually gets what she wants.  Lots of stuff happens, and stylistic violence and beheadings will occur in the process of this stuff.

Then there's the story of poor Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who also hates Senator Roarke, but for completely different reasons than Nancy.  Johnny is a lucky, lucky young man.  Lucky in love, cards, slots, plus he can take care of himself in a pinch.  But watching Johnny and his plans to take on Roarke, Johnny just doesn't look to be all that bright. 

Then we circle back to Nancy who has decided to attempt to deal with Roarke once and for all.  She mutilated her face before she did this.  That made us sad.

'Sin City' circa 2005 was a revelation.  Stylish, bold, unique, creative, inventive…  there were those out there who didn't care for it, but that film stood out in a middle of a crowd and demanded that you pay attention to it.  'Sin City' circa 2014, I am sad to say, is an also-ran.  It has most of the same things that the original had, minus a few actors who failed to show up due to other commitments or tragic death, but it's no longer unique.  Now 'Sin City' has to rely on its story to get us over since its trump card of Style will no longer be enough.  It's possible the original had a scattershot, unfocused narrative as well, but I sure don't remember that being the case.

Not say there's not a lot of goodness in this film, with Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Rosario Dawson and Mickey Rourke chewing up and spitting out this pulpy nonsense like a square of Bubble-Yum.  The look and feel, while no longer fresh, is still something to see, Rodriguez moves this thing on greased rails… but it's still not fast enough to cover up the scattershot  narrative… and it is still pretty ballsy.  And it's not like we weren't entertained by it a little bit.

It's just that nine years is an awful lot of prep time for what we ended up getting with 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'.  If this had been released like around 2007, all those shortcomings that we were acutely aware of today would certainly still be there, but we they would've been far easier to ignore and I'm almost positive we would've had more fun watching it.
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