Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

By Peter Towe

Published on Wednesday, August 27, 2014


It’s been nine long years since the original Sin City debuted and technologically, movies have come a long way.  Many may believe it’s been too long since the original, and therefore are uninterested, but the wait was worth it.  Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have crafted another visual masterpiece, even if some flaws in the story persist throughout.  The overall visual experience and the immersion into the Frank Miller created universe are something that is specifically unique.  Since 2005, many films have used the visual formula used in the original, but nothing else out there looks or feels like a Sin City movie.  A Dame to Kill For is a faithful adaptation, and incorporates a brand new story into a worthy sequel, and worth a trip to the theater.


The main draw of the new Sin City is the heightened visual upgrades to the original.  Rodriguez has successfully incorporated the 3D technology that has taken over our Blockbusters, and added a new level of texture and atmosphere within the world of Sin City.  The 3D is used to add another level of fun to the film, which on the exterior seems to take itself too seriously, but delivers goofy comic book elements that not only work, but show that everyone’s just having fun.  Having said that, the visuals are not perfect, and some action scenes are a bit choppy, compared to the original.  I’m not exactly sure what it was.  I know Rodriguez does all his own cinematography, but an outside cinematographer could have potential cleaned some of the action scenes that were shot almost in the vein of what we see on TV.

The visuals and aesthetic that made the original feel so original have become a seen-it-done-with-it gimmick for your average movie goer.  The attention is in the detail, which I can appreciate, even if most think it’s had its time.  Enough about the visuals, I’m sure you get.


It was great to revisit Sin City, and see so many familiar faces.  Mickey Rourke once again was excellent as Marv, who after the first movie, it’d be hard to imagine another actor portraying the barbarian.  Josh Brolin stepping in for Clive Owen was great as the face-changing Dwight, who’s story “A Dame to Kill For” was the highlight of the film.  Eva Green was once again fantastic as the scantily clad and diabolical Ava Lord, a former lover of Dwight who has total control over Dwight’s heart, which she of course exploits.   After this storyline ended, the movie seemed to halt to a near stop, and we were left with great performances, but the other character story lines just weren’t as compelling.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt felt like a wasted character, who’s storyline “The Long Bad Night” was created just for the movie and not based off a Miller comic arc.  The story seemed interesting enough, the ending is very unsatisfying and awkwardly placed amongst the other stories.  Like the original, the stories are broken up and incorporated together in the attempt to make it feel like one big story, and not four separate entries.

While certainly not perfect, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a worthy sequel to the original which has faded in popularity over the last nine years.  While the story lines often fall short, the fun visuals, stellar performances, and just returning to the familiar violence and depravity of one of everyone’s favorite comic book cities, Sin City make it a trip with taking.


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller with the screenplay by Miller and stars Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Lady Gaga, Jeremy Piven, and Ray Liotta.

The Good

+ Updated visuals are the stand out

+ Smooth transitions from comic to film look

+ Great performances

The Bad

- Some characters are wasted

- Action scenes are often a bit choppy looking

- Plot feels clunky after the Dwight story ends


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