Film & TV Screen-Shot-2014-03-07-at-7.52.34-AM

Published on October 1st, 2014 | by Britt Andrews

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Review: Sin City – A Dame to Kill For

If you are anything like me and you loved the original Sin City, this is the sequel you have been waiting nine years for. But was it worth the wait?

As a little bit of background, A Dame to Kill For is the sequel to the 2005 film Sin City. They are both set in the fictional city of Sin City, and based on the graphic novels by Frank Miller. Both films are directed by Robert Rodriquez and Frank Miller. This sequel was announced to start production in 2006, but a series of setbacks has left it to be released nine years after the original.

Stylistically, A Dame to Kill For looked fantastic, with dark, inky, black and white comic book backgrounds, with the only dashes of colour coming from beauty or blood. The storylines were simple: damsel in distress, older man jaded from years of killing, and the young man with something to prove.

Critically, many of the reviews on it have been rather negative, portraying it as a “procession of violence and misjudged machismo” (Sydney Morning Herald). But for me, I thought this was the point of it. It wasn’t supposed to be realistic, and the viewer is supposed to get lost in the drama, violence and spectacle of Sin City. I also saw it being criticised for having stereotypical female characters, which made me wonder if we saw the same movie. Sure, the female characters were overly sexualised (much the same way as the first Sin City film), however the female characters in A Dame to Kill For were the strongest characters in the film, and in the case of Ava, played by Eva Green: the best developed.

Sin City still has impressive styling, with the trademark splashes of colour on a black and white palette

 

Following on from the first film, the plot was a series of interweaving storylines set in Sin City, with familiar faces from the first movie, as well as some new ones. Some of these storylines did leave a little to be desired. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s storyline in particular left me feeling very much like it was just filler, secondary to the main plot, just put in there to buff the movie up to its (rather short by today’s standards) 102 minutes.

Overall, A Dame to Kill For had a great film noir feel, a stellar cast (with an unexpected appearance of Stabler from Law and Order: SVU) and a gritty, gory, suspenseful plot that for the most part had me hooked. Does it live up to the hype, after nine years of waiting? In my opinion: no. It definitely is not as amazing as Sin City was. But taken as a standalone film, without the hype and the long wait, it was entertaining, full of great backdrops and plenty of gratuitous, stylised violence and very easy to get lost in.

 


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Britt Andrews



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