Sin City: A Dame To Kill For English Movie Review

Feature Film | A | Action, Crime, Thriller
Does well despite the curse of the sequels (it's a real thing), but definitely not good enough to kill for.
Sep 5, 2014 By Piyush Chopra

It is a strange, strange world that we live in. And things get stranger still in the world of Sin City. Every single person is a gun-toting, foul-mouthed, scary-looking, ill-intentioned thug with an ulterior motive. Men fall in love with shady women faster than fish die without water. People can see ghosts who're not really ghosts (but are they really ghosts?). Police are just ornamental, silent bystanders. Hookers make the law. Bullets don't kill people, people kill bullets.

We've visited this largely black-and-white city before, 9 years ago. It wasn't a great trip, as far as I'm concerned. Sure, it had a stunning view, a never-seen-before graphic novel style and a thuggish charm to it. But style can only take you so far. Sure, it can get you out of your pants, but it can never get to your heart. The first film was composed of several different chapters or episodes, with mostly disjointed and pointless stories, and common supporting characters casually flitting in and out of all the stories like pigeons on a monument.

For the second film, directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez trade in the anthology style for a largely traditional and continuous narrative, where once again story is secondary, characters are primary. Which is why the addition of a few mostly interesting new characters livens up the proceedings greatly.

All the storylines have the common theme of revenge running through them, which saves the film from looking like the sum of its parts, unlike its predecessor. The types of revenge varies from fatherly revenge, to revenge for betrayal, to revenge to avenge, to revenge simply because a person is called a name he doesn't understand.

But they keep things going sufficiently well to not make you writhe around in your seat. Asking for logic is illogical. All the filmmakers expect from you is to sit there with your raincoat on, as the blood spills out and gets sprayed all over you. Unlike last time, this time its not as difficult to heed their request.

Like the previous installment, "giving an expression is a criminal offense" still seems to be the law of the land in Sin City. Performances of returning actors like Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson remain wooden for a large part. Mickey Rourke returns as Marv, a character whose only motivation to get into elaborate action sequences seems to be not wanting to get bored. The new actors don't fare much better, with Josh Brolin essentially portraying Grumpy the Dwarf and Joseph Gordon-Levitt essentially portraying Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The only person defying the law is Eva Green in a sparkling performance. She's sexy, evil, menacing and calculating, and can shoot a gun without batting an eyelid.

The novelty factor of the blacks, whites, blues, greens, reds and yellows has been worn out by now, which tilts the scales in favor of the first movie. But a more coherent plot and a bevy of new interesting characters put part 2 firmly ahead of part 1. Add to that the fact that 3D works quite well with this film, something that is as rare as a flying monkey. But even then, forget "To Kill For", this film might just not even be good enough to pay money for.

Piyush Chopra