Back in 2005, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller released the critically acclaimed neo-noir action thriller anthology ‘Sin City’. To this day, it still stands as one of the best comic book adaptations to hit theaters. So when talk of a sequel emerged almost immediately after the film came out, no one was surprised and everyone wanted it. However, the follow-up met with many delays and year after year the project was pushed back for one reason or another. But now the highly anticipated ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ finally hits theaters this weekend and we’ll see if it was worth the wait.
Part prequel and part sequel, the movie is primarily based on the second book in Miller’s seminal ‘Sin City’ comic series. The main story follows Dwight McCarthy, now played by Josh Brolin rather than Clive Owen, as he becomes involved with the seductive and manipulative Ava Lord, who left the private detective years earlier for a wealthy tycoon. We also see the return of Jessica Alba’s Nancy Callahan, who isn’t taking the death of John Hartigan very well, the violent brute Marv played by Mickey Rourke, and the introduction of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Johnny, a brand new character created just for the sequel.
On one hand, ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ had everything one would expect from it. There was plenty of brutal and beautiful sex and violence depicted with the same trademark visual style as the original that captivated audiences. Although, there was a certain spark missing that didn’t quite measure up to expectations. For starters, the most interesting stories weren’t given the opportunity to shine as they should. Dwight’s story, which was meant to be the focal point of the film, was easily the least interesting of the four storylines. Despite the action-packed sequences and the never-clothed Eva Green, ‘A Dame to Kill For’ was largely predictable and dragged on for a little longer than it should have. I don’t think that I’ve ever been so bored looking at beautiful, naked women. They probably should have forgone this prequel section of the story and stuck with keeping the movie strictly a sequel.
As much of let down as that story was, I definitely enjoyed ‘The Long Bad Night’ and ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’, which were new stories written by Miller that don’t appear in the original source material. JGL and Alba stood out as exciting characters with interesting missions. And both tied together well because they were connected by the all-powerful and despicable Senator Roarke. However, they were relegated to secondary stories, so they didn’t have as much time to develop more. Honestly, I would have watched entire features based on those two stories because they definitely captured elements that made the first ‘Sin City’ so successful.
I’m not going to say that ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ came a little too late, but I will say that it doesn’t have as much of an impact as the original. Rather than taking us on a new and exciting journey through this iconic Frank Miller creation, this movie suffers from too many occasions of dullness despite the extreme sex, violence, and exploitation. It will definitely find its niche audience, but it won’t capture the same praise as its predecessor. Overall, the only thing left to say it that the movie was just okay. You might be better off going to see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ again if you were looking to catch a comic book adaptation in theaters this weekend.