Sin City: A Dame to Kill For -- The Saturday AM Review
I was kind of excited to see Sin City 2. I read Book 2: A Dame to Kill For a few months back and rewatched the first movie; however, I remember being so in love with the film when it came out, but I was not so into it again (or less than I remember). The problems I now found with Sin City were actually fixed in Sin City 2 so I was relieved. I liked it but I didn’t love it.
I am so not a fan of Jessica Alba, and I was glad her Nancy storyline was last in the movie. If you are a fan of hers, there was more of her stripping/dancing than acting. This time around the stories did not jump around as much compared to the first installment, which I was happy. There were pretty much three stories selected for A Dame to Kill—of course Ava (the Dame to kill for) was the best story and character. Eva Green is really stealing anything she has been in. Please check out the TV show Penny Dreadful if you haven’t! Eva Green is the perfect sly, bad girl; she is dark yet charming. It's not surprising for Sin City or in Eva Green's acting career, but she is naked...a lot. You would think it would be too much or distracting; however, the shadows and character, Ava, perfectly compliments the mood of the story. There is no better femme fatale than her in recent years. Josh Brolin also played brilliantly off of her. I feel Brolin is underrated and is one of the few actors than can convey both drama and comedy in all mediums/genres. I love Joseph Gordon Levitt; I think he is adorable and a genius creator. His storyline was sweet and full of gross fights.
The fights were not as good or exciting as most action movies. However, I have never heard better sound effects in a movie before. The punch noise was so cringe worthy and accurate (I’m assuming). Every sound of contact in a fight made me squirm and wince in fake pain for the character. Another effect/element worth noting, typical of Sin City, is the black and white, digital look. I felt the color correction seemed more purposeful and meaningful this time around. What elements were colored in Sin City 2 added a layer to the story and created a really cool look. I’m not sure if the obvious green screen nature of the film is a positive or negative thing; I am amazed at the production Robert Rodriguez was able to create and almost literally translate with Frank Miller and his original comic. The Sin City movies, even Frank Miller adaptations, have looked to closest to bringing comic book page to life (video games have not quite acquired this skill yet).
I admire Rodriguez as a self starter and filmmaker for building an empire outside of the Hollywood system—Austin, TX—and on his own terms. I think some of his tactics can be negative though. I heard Sin City 2 was shot in 30-ish days and as actors were available. For example, there is a scene with Goldie, Wendy, Miho, and Dwight, but when Jamie King shot the scene, she was acting by herself. I think the lack of direct interaction between characters/actors does prohibit some scenes and lacks the emotional depth of the story. The long gap between the first film and second film, unfortunately, caused many parts to be recast, due to either availability or death (RIP Brittany Murphy and Michael Clarke Duncan). These snags are noticeable at times and contribute to the overall flow of the movie.
I really enjoyed watching Sin City: A Dame to Kill For…I guess the question will be will it stand the test of time?
I had fun, would have loved more action, but jumped in my seat with every punch. Eva Green steals the movie and oozes her character in every moment; I could have gone for a straight A Dame to Kill For movie. The characters and acting in this installment were more streamlined than before. I’m not sure if time helped or was visually apparent by the lapse of years between movies, but Frank Miller’s design is completely realized. I was entertained and what more can you ask for?