Movie Look: Sin City A Dame To Kill For

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Saw the new Sin City last night. Did it live up to what I was anticipating? Eh.

I’ll say this much, I did like the movie. At least, moreso than most people. It’s gotten a bunch of negative reviews from other websites and it looks like the movie is set to bomb with a shitty opening weekend, most likely because of the long Mushishi-like wait in-between films. From what I gather, the common complaints are that it’s more of the same, lacking soul, etc. etc. the works. Neither of which really bothered me, so I went in with decent expectations.

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Personally, my problem with the movie is mostly related to the stuff Miller exclusively wrote for the movie in order to give it a decent length. While it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, in addition to his annoying traits being more present (especially in Nancy’s story), the whole thing reeked of “expansion pack/DLC” rather than being a real worthwhile addition to the franchise. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s story as a suave gambler is sort of like the new Terror in Resonance episode in that there are some cool scenes, but ultimately the story added little other than to establish Senator Roark as a brutal man – and this was already apparent in the first film. The final Nancy story also had some good moments. I especially liked Alba’s new look after her character scarred her face and the final line. But there are two major problems: 1) It ultimately cheapened one of the original film’s stories. 2) It was resolved very anticlimactically. All that talk about Roark’s evilness and he goes down like an Uncharted villain. Lame.

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But even the actual stuff in the original novels isn’t as good as it could have been, although that might be because it’s hard to get used to Josh Brolin taking over for Clive Owen as Dwight (never thought I’d say that). Since the whole Dame to Kill For story is a prequel to when Dwight had to save Old Town’s truce from being broken in the 2005 film, it’s pretty obvious who’s going to die and who isn’t. In fact, it was pretty obvious what was going on the moment Eva Green’s character introduced herself (and before people bring it up, yes her character stole the show, and not just because she was naked for a majority of the film) and the whole thing followed predictable beats with the only real flavor being that it does it with interesting style. That said, said style includes cool usage of colors, armed prostitutes cutting men up, and the villain ultimately being a woman who is a master of using sex as a weapon. I enjoyed it on the whole, but it’s not exactly The Big Fat Kill.

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Ultimately, the main problem with the movie is that even as a grim noir-like anthology piece and despite the good amount of individual scenes I liked, it doesn’t come together very well. This feels more like a direct-to-DVD thing that got a theatrical budget and whilst it does a good job of expanding on the material and updating the technicals, it’s not enough of an elevation and it isn’t as cool as it thinks it is. It’s nowhere near as bad as the news would make you believe – c’mon, The Spirit is far worse – but I’d only recommend it to big Sin City fans.

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