Follow Genre: Action
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 103 minutes

Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Good action, good acting
Bad: Weak story, doesn't live up to the first film
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Around ten years ago, the world of cinema encountered a very nice surprise. Filming comics had begun as a new hype and the result was a series of similar looking movies. One movie changed all that, by being daring with its visuals and storytelling. Sin City, directed by the Quentin Tarantino protégé, Robert Rodríguez and Frank Miller, took the world by storm and made everyone fall in love with it. Everyone expected a quick sequel, but this was delayed due to production reasons. Now finally, ten years after the first one, we have our second installment of the Sin City series.

sin-city-a-dame-to-kill-forSin City 2: A Dame To Kill For is both a sequel and a prequel to the first Sin City. It is, just like its predecessor, composed out of different stories, demonstrating that the world of Sin City is large and filled with action. This time, there are four main story lines. First we follow around Marv (Mickey Rourke), who is generally acting though and beating up people for the hell of it. Next we have Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt), a cocky gambler, who always wins. He’s having trouble finding a challenge, so he invites himself into an high-stake poker game, organized by Sin City boss Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). Johnny’s arrogance isn’t appreciated by Roark and Johnny soon finds himself a victim of his own success.

In a prequel story, we follow Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin), who wishes to say goodbye to his violent life. However, he gets seduced by his ex-lover Ava (Eva Green) and is dragged into the world of violence once more. The last story involves Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), who is mourning the death of John Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and wants to revenge him by taking out Roark.

sin-city-a-dame-to-kill-for-1While this sequel takes roughly the same tone and visuals (the by now well-known black and white, combined with extremely vivid color contrasts), it never reaches the level of the first episode. Firstly, the effects that were so stunning in Sin City feel tacky and unfinished. There’s a constant feeling that, ten years later, the effects haven’t evolved and even have deteriorated since the first film.

Luckily for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller (who are again co-directing), their stars are performing at a decent level. Dennis Haysbert does an excellent job as Manute, replacing the late Michael Clarke Duncan, which is hardly an easy feat. Ray Liotta and Christopher Lloyd are highly entertaining during the little screen time we are offered. Last but not least, Rourke, Brolin and Gordon-Levitt are all doing a great rendition of being bad-asses (even if this isn’t the greatest challenge for an actor). However, it can’t be denied that Brolin never reaches quite the same level as Clive Owen reached in Sin City.

Alba is offered the part with the most meat, but going all dark and broody is quite difficult if you’re named Jessica Alba and became famous by being a non-stop happy person in romantic chick-flicks. Still, it isn’t a terrible performance and she holds her own in the action scenes. Green, an actress who has a lot of range, is once again limited to be a femme fatale (complete with gratuitous nudity), which seems like a bit of a waste for someone of her calibre.

sin-city-a-dame-to-kill-for-2The stories come from the comics by Frank Miller, aptly named Sin City. However, the story involving Nancy is written exclusively for the film. This is also the weakest story of the bunch, forcing us to wonder why Miller and Rodriguez didn’t select one of the established stories. The movie also lacks the input of Tarantino, who directed the absurd conversation with the decapitated head of Benito Del Toro in Sin City. This absurdity is completely lacking in the this follow-up, making it feel like the movie is taking itself very seriously, when it really shouldn’t be. The feeling of it being a high quality “grindhouse” is completely gone, reducing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For to a subpar action movie.

The moments were the movie shines is purely in the action. Marv is pretty great when he goes all “Hulk” on some generic opponents and we even get another bit with the beautiful, but lethal Gail (Rosario Dawson) and her friend Miho (Jamie Chung), the silent assassin. Gordon-Levitt’s bit where he is playing poker with an untouchable opponent is also very fun to watch.


While Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill never manages to reach the high level of its predecessor, it’s still an entertaining action flick. The visuals are a bit worn out, mostly due to not looking really finished, so except some adding some vibes, they don’t really do a lot. It certainly wasn’t worth the ten year wait we had to go through to get this sequel.

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