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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Movie Review: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Have you ever known someone you would kill for? In August 2014, Dwight knew a dame like that, then again if you met Ava, you would want to kill for her also.

Directing this 102 minute crime/thriller is Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez.

Bringing sin to the city is: Mickey Rourke as Marv, Jessica Alba as Nancy, Josh Brolin as Dwight, Eva Green as Ava, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny, Rosario Dawson as Gail, Powers Boothe as  Senator Roark, Dennis Haysbert as Manute and Julia Garner as Marcie. With an appearance by Bruce Willis as Hartigan.

Watch as a man named Johnny starts out on a path for revenge, and he thinks he has the ace in the hole to pull it off. Then there's Dwight, a man that must always remain in control... so he won't relive his past. Problem is, Dwight is having trouble keeping his cool when he's looking into the eyes of a dame he would kill for... and just might have to. All the while, Marv still watches over the broken hearted dancer named Nancy as she fights a losing battle with her demons. One by one, all of these individual lives will tell a bigger story. A story that may not have a "happily ever after" kind of ending that so many want, but for a few of these poor souls... an ending none the less.

Back in 1991 Dark Horse Comics had it's first appearance of Sin City in the Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special. Frank Miller wasn't only the creator of Sin City but also the writer and artist. After several stories that could be found in strips, limited series, one-shot comics and graphic novels. Then the big leap was taken in 2005 and Sin City was thrown up on the big screen for the first time.

Here's one of my geek out moments for you. During Miller's time working on the popular comic book title Daredevil, he created the badass female ninja assassin known as (in the Marvel universe) Elektra. She made her first appearance in the Daredevil (#168) comic book back in 1981. She was only going to be a one time appearance but luck for the fans Elektra got to stick around for a bit, and for that I say... thanks Frank!

Writer Frank Miller came up with the storyline for this sequel. It's mainly based on A Dame To Kill For, which is the second book of Sin City. Now, there where two stories written by Frank Miller just for the movie which was The Long Bad Night and Nancy's Last Dance. All told, the stories blended together really well and made for an interesting flick.

Now, the story was cool but the playthrough had it's moments where it dragged a bit. Nothing really bad but it did hurt the pace of the film a bit. Even though it still held my attention, it just wasn't the grab you by the face and hold on like I was expecting it to be. I'm not talking about a lack of action here, the sequel has about the same amount of action as the first one (give or take a bullet). It was the combination of action and rich storyline that made the first one so good, and sadly this one just didn't have that same golden mix to give it the strength the first one had.
                            

One of the many things that made Miller's work so popular was his art style. If you've seen the first film you already know what you're getting visually. For those of you who don't know that much about Miller. He would draw his stories in black and white with the use of a single color to make certain things stand out in the frame. Between that same style mixed with some really good special effects and then add in the costume design by Nina Proctor, everything looked great once it was all put together for the film.

I thought the star powered cast did a good job. It was really cool seeing the other stars that were scattered throughout the film like Christopher Lloyd, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, Ray Liotta and Alexa PenaVega. Now, hands down, the stand out role goes to Eva Green in this movie, she killed it with her character Ava. After watching the movie there's no doubt why she's a dame to kill for!

Even though some of the characters are brought back from the first film, not all the cast members made that same return. For instance, Devon Aoki, who played the character Miho in the first film was replaced by Jamie Chung this time. Then of course, there was the passing of Michael Clark Duncan, his character was taken over by Dennis Haysbert. In the first film I thought Duncan did great, he was just this overpowering presence when his character was on screen. Part of that was his size yes, the other was the strength he put into the character. You knew going up against Duncan was a bad idea. Haysbert obviously doesn't have the size that Ducan did, but he was still able to make the character good. Instead of that brute force look, Haysbert brought a bit of mystery to the Manute character this time around. You get an idea that it might be a bad idea to go up against him, but part of you thinks "yeah I could take him". As with any cast replacements, you're guaranteed things will be different. We have a 50-50 chance that the change will work and everything will be awesome or... a catastrophe. Luckily, this time around, everything worked in our favor.

Overall, as much as I like the film, I can't say it's worth running to the theater to catch it. Both Miller and Rodriguez put together something cool, but not so much great. Now, you should definitely catch this one because it's worth the time, but waiting for a rental wouldn't be such a bad idea.

It's rated R for violence, language and nudity.

3 stars 


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