fri 14/06/2024

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For | reviews, news & interviews

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller's 3D return to the world of Basin City proves a grotty and flat experience

Being sinful: Josh Brolin and Eva Green

There’s no rest for the wicked and corrupt in Frank Miller’s sequel to Sin City which sees him team up once again with Robert Rodriguez. A series of uninspired but visually alluring vignettes play out demanding you to question what came before and why such a foul follow-up has taken over nine years to come to fruition.

Three stories based on the hard-boiled graphic novels of Frank Miller that date back to the 1990s (with a little new material thrown in) are told via the monochrome, highly stylised images that we first saw back in 2005. Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has a death wish and a penchant for gambling which comes to a head at a meeting with the ruthless Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba, pictured below right) is haunted by the death of a loved one, has hit the bottle hard and is dead set on revenge. Marv (Mickey Rourke in heavy prosthetics) is still keeping a watchful eye over her. Meanwhile photographer Dwight (Josh Brolin in the role first played by Clive Owen in Sin City) gets into a sticky situation with an old flame who he can’t resist.

In Basin City both genders get the broad stroke approach delivering one-note simplistic characters who all share the same motivation of revenge. Trashy caricature, dead-end narratives lacking in suspense and loose ends all mount up to a considerably flat viewing experience. There's a distinct sense of déjà vu running through this pulp noir film: the computer generated backgrounds were innovative and exciting back in 2005 - this feels more like a death knell.jessica alba mickey rourke sin city a dame to kill for

In Baby Face the ultimate femme fatale Barbara Stanwyck uses her sexuality and body to climb to the top of the social ladder. Watching it now is outrageously funny as you witness an educated man scream at her to use her feminine wiles to deceive and manipulate men. I imagine this was Miller's directional technique. The same sense of outlandishness is evident here with Eva Green chewing the scenery, luxuriating naked in bodies of water and being unapologetically evil. Green’s over-the-top performance proves a saving grace and the self-awareness of the artifice of it all is amusing. However, the fact that Miller chooses to use false cries of rape as reason to coerce men into violent acts is proof of the nasty streak of objectification which runs through this piece. That he uses this as motivation twice in one film is lazy writing.

There’s absolutely nothing sinful in showing the darker side of femininity - Angela Carter relished the chance to do it - but Sin City: A Dame to Kill For severely lacks any insight making it a grotty and questionable experience.

Overleaf: watch the trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Green’s over-the-top performance proves a saving grace and the self-awareness of the artifice of it all is amusing


Editor Rating: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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