Friday, August 22, 2014

Returning To Sin City With A Dame To Kill For

Not gonna lie, I was waaay excited to return to the world of Sin City for another go around. The first movie was such a fun trip. Robert Rodriguez was back, Frank Miller was back... what could possibly go wrong?
Well, it's really not all that simple. I did essentially get a similar kind of joy out of this sequel. The original was such an interesting movie... completely shot in Rodriguez's studio, all covered in green screens and the entirety of the film was just CGed over to create this scoping world. And everything seemed to flow together even though it was a series of stories all taken from very different books in the opus of Sin City history. They made that initial movie work so well because they could choose whatever piece they wanted and tie it all up in a pretty little bow to the point that a revisit probably wasn't necessary.

And that's exactly where Sin City: A Dame To Kill For's fate gets murky. Since the creators had initially made the first film out of order, they left a lot of stories untold in varying spots in the timeline. So what this sequel becomes... is more like a bunch of pretty cool deleted scenes... both sequel and prequel and in fact... stuff that was going on at the same time as the other things from the first flick. In that regard, it becomes very confusing trying to realign your perspective in the overall arc of the film.

Regardless, the filmmakers did manage to tell a number of entertaining stories. But the end result feels like it could eventually be combined with the original to make a massive, all encompassing mega-movie.

Mickey Rourke still kills it with his performance as the utterly horrific, but somehow totally lovable Marv... OLD SPOILER one of the myriad of returning characters that actually died in the original. END OLD SPOILER He reminded me of all the things I really enjoyed from the first film. And that's pretty powerful for one actor to bring us back like that. Jessica Alba, however takes a very different position, showing a much darker side to the once peaceful Nancy. Her scenes are likely the most important in reference to the first film, but somehow feel like they cheapen those things that made me so completely enjoy her before.

Josh Brolin does his best Clive Owen impression and gets away with it a few times, but ultimately Dwight's story loses some steam because of the prequel nature of this segment... that and he really doesn't get any help from Eva Green who apparently becomes a worse actress the more she drops trow. This is unfortunate because, after Casino Royal, I really did think she was going to prove to be a very solid actress. This has not seemed to pan out in her last several showings... 300: Rise of an Empire (ugh) and Dark Shadows included. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a very entertaining new element to this sequel, but his part felt waaay too short in the grand scheme of things. The same can be said for Juno Temple's wonderful cameo.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is a welcome supplement to the original feature. If you liked that movie at all this is certainly worth a visit and it definitely looks good on the big screen, though I really felt the 3D was useless and unfortunately distracted me from the things I did like about the flick. In any event, I say give it a shot, though it may not have the same quality arc of the original, it's still got its moments.

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