Cinema Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020  

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Studio: Dimension Films
Directed by Robert Rodriguez

Aug 22, 2014 Web Exclusive
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It’s been nearly a decade since the release of Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City, a near-masterpiece filled with sharp writing, brilliantly choreographed action sequences, and twisted humor that rivaled the best of Tarantino. It left audiences clamoring for a sequel that always felt a year away but was mired in development hell. If the delay dulled most of the excitement, the actual product, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, should finish the job. After a long wait, Rodriguez has created something that feels like a fan fiction tribute to its predecessor (minus the self-awareness and nearly 70 IQ points), but is little more than cartoon rapt with overwritten voiceover and caricatured morons who would be thoroughly outwitted and out-punched by their originals.

That even includes Marv (Mickey Rourke), America’s favorite behemoth whose simple moral code sent him on a rampage through the most influential (and corrupt) people in Sin City. Here, void of such complexity, he has little more to do than bash heads for the good guys of two more prominent storylines. In one, Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) attempts to rescue former lover Ava Lord (Eva Green) from her abusive husband, but before you can say, Wait, that was Clive Owen’s character, Lord turns the tables on the easily-seduced McCarthy. In another, Nancy (Jessica Alba) attempts to get revenge against Senator Roark (Powers Booth) for the death of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis), who—you may remember—saved her from the Yellow Bastard.

These premises aren't weak, per se, but they lack the storytelling muscles and nuance of the original, whose myriad reversals each uncovered a deeper layer of filth and injustice beneath Basin City’s dank alleyways. Here, in a script credited to Frank Miller alone, obstacles are so thoroughly un-complex and facile that the excessive body count feels little more than redundant muscle flexing for these self-proclaimed baddies. It doesn’t help that this incarnation attempts to weave its multiple storylines before, after, and even through the chronological strands of its predecessor (to be fair, there are many lulls to figure out what goes where). It’s not all that bad, though: if the ten-year gap provided anything, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For can be easily separated from the original.

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Author rating: 2/10

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