Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba in Frank Miller’s “Sin CIty: A Dame To Kill For”
Nine years have passed since Robert Rodriguez and Filmmaker/writer Frank Miller stunned audiences with the stylistically green-screened Sin City. A noir-ish like film that is pure anti-establishment and pits losers against politicians; set in a hyper-realistic world known as Basin City. It’s the wild west of 1607 set against a grimly lit city where the hookers control streets and cops serve themselves, not the tax paying pubic. The film suggests “you can find anything if you walk down the right ally in Sin City, Anything”.
Die-Hard fans of the comics can finally hold back their anticipation as Robert Rodriquez and Frank Miller have returned with more characters in need of self-redemption and some familiar out for good old vengeance. Miller has expressed in interviews that four “new” stories have been added to the film as this one focuses its attention on the second book in Miller’s saga “ A Dame To Kill For” meaning that the film will spend a fair amount of time on each story with A Dame sandwiched in-between the new material.
Many of the major characters that made Sin City a success in the first place return along with some new blood. Bruce Willis’s do-good cop John Hartigan appears in a “ghostly” manner alongside the bulldozer of a man with a deadly condition, Marv. An unrecognizable Mickey Rourke, usually seen loathing over Nancy Callahan, Jessica Alba returning to the Role that made her famous in the first place. Plus Dwight McCarthy this time played by Josh Brolin. Dwight was previously played by Clive Owen in the previous Sin City, before he undergoes the “transformation” seen in this outing that is a more of a prequel than it can be called a sequel despite, events shown that actually take place after the events seen in the first film. A Dame To Kill For is the third film we’ve seen this summer that serves as both a sequel and a prequel to pre-existing content. The summer opened with 300: Rise of An Empire and the superb X-Men Days of Future Past followed it up. This is great for franchises while also serving what appears to be the building blocks of a new sub Genre of filmmaking.
Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) struggles in his daily life to not let out the “monster” while also serving as a photographer for a private eye, but his life is thrown out of balance as he receives a phone call from his seductive ex Ava Lord (Eva Green). He at first tells her to piss off knowing full and well what she is capable of, only to turn around and feed his curiosity and get to the bottom of what she wants. This ends in death and a terrible wake of destruction in McCarthy’s path. Brolin is an excellent Dwight and Eva Green matches him doing what she does best, using men as puppets for her dirty work and a means to an end. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is given his own storyline as Johnny whom sets out to take Sin City and those in control of it for everything they’re worth playing card games behind closed doors with Senator Rourke (Powers Boothe) and living to tell the tale; While, Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) plots the revenge against those that aided in the suicide of her beloved John Hartigan (Bruce Willis). Both actors hold their stories well and provide something that is unique surrounding the main storyline. Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, and Lady Gaga all make good and significant Cameos throughout the film.
Those that have read Miller’s comics may find this film to be everything they expected it to be, while others might find it lacks characters with anything to do worthy of your time. As a Reader of the comics, it was predictable to the point of knowing who’s going to say what before they say it. Also by the time I was able to fully enjoy the film for what it truly is, a comic book film with lines literally pulled from the pages, it was too late and the credits were rolling. A Dame To Kill For wasn’t a disappoint, but more or less of what you’d expect it to be, A hard as nails nihilistic thriller loaded with character thought and motivation, but lacking any sort of decent pace about it. So much so that it would be no surprise to see audience members walk out of the theater bewildered by it.