Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Review: Despite sameness, ‘Sin City’ sequel a slice of nihilistic noir

By Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/21/13/48/lTVoP.Em.138.jpeg|316
    - DIMENSION FILMS
    Mickey Rourke in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/21/13/48/kFFAh.Em.138.jpeg|473
    - DIMENSION FILMS
    Eva Green in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/21/13/48/QZl7E.Em.138.jpeg|196
    - DIMENSION FILMS
    Josh Brolin in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/21/13/48/QCiG8.Em.138.jpeg|210
    - DIMENSION FILMS
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/21/13/48/7IxDv.Em.138.jpeg|177
    - DIMENSION FILMS
    Jessica Alba in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”

More Information

  • REVIEW

    ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

    CAST: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert.

    DIRECTORS: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller.

    WRITER: Frank Miller and based on his graphic novels.

    RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes.

    RATING: R (strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and brief drug use).



C “Sin City” is back in all its lurid, gory glory, a vivid and visceral graphic novel come to life in the capable hands of Robert Rodriguez and co-director and comic book creator Frank Miller.

If anything, it’s a more gorgeous experiment in green screen digital sets and black and white videography, complete with selective splashes of color – a green-eyed femme fatale’s lips here, a bloodied thug’s ugly mug there. The neon-and-shadows cityscape is stunning, with gorgeous nudes and startling plunges underwater.

But the characters in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” are mostly the same, the situations basically a rehash of the bullets, blood and beatdowns of the first film. And the hard-bitten dialogue is jokier and softer, lacking the sucker punch prose of the original.

A couple of characters we saw die in “Sin City” are back – Marv, the avenging angel thug played by Mickey Rourke, with prosthetic jaw, brow and nose, and the last good cop, Hartigan, played by a fatalistic Bruce Willis. Prominent newcomers are Eva Green, showing off her Bond Babe bod in her birthday suit, luring men to their doom; Josh Brolin and Dennis Haysbert as two of those men; Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an unfortunately lucky gambler; and Powers Boothe as a crooked senator the gambler crosses.

Stacy Keach shows up in a full Jabba the Hutt blob mask; Juno Temple and Jaime King are fresh women of the night; Christopher Lloyd’s a demented mob doctor; Jeremy Piven and Christopher Meloni are ineffectual cops; and Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson return as bustier- and fishnet-clad tough broads with a stripper touch.

The gambler (Gordon-Levitt) woos a lady friend (Julia Garner) with his hard-boiled patter.

“A city’s like a woman, or a casino. Somebody’s gonna win.”

Marv is still dealing in revenge-as-justice, execution style.

“I did what any good citizen would do.”

And private eye Dwight (Brolin) is spying on the likes of Ray Liotta and Temple, who plays his paramour.

“She glides out of her coat like it was Christmas wrapping.”

Rodriguez, who shot this and shares directing credit with Miller, films “A Dame to Kill For” in extreme close-ups, through lingering digital clouds of cigarette smoke, staging stylistically fake classic car chases – a Tucker Torpedo, a tailfinned Caddy.

The violence is grisly – impalings and beheadings and eye-pluckings. And the sex is explicit. Women take a back seat in these movies, though Alba’s stripper bent on revenge gets to narrate part of it. Dawson and Green are the ones who’re frightening enough to hold their own with the tough guys.

“A Dame to Kill For” isn’t the shock to the system “Sin City” was, but whatever its plot repetition and warmed-over tough talk cost it, this is still a movie like few others you’ve ever seen, a 3-D slice of nihilistic noir that will have you narrating your own guts and guns story on the drive home, chewing on a toothpick as you do.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com