It has been almost a decade since the first Sin City, which saw directors Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez explore one of the most dangerous, outrageous and beautiful locales in the whole world of cinema. Now they are back and dragging the audience straight back into the gambling, the violence, the sex and the intrigue as they return with a whole new set of stories to tell in A Dame To Kill For. With some returning faces from the original ensemble, some changes to previous characters and some new additions, this second Sin City is just as exciting, thrilling and exploitative as the previous. Featuring an all star cast including Eva Green as Ava (the named Dame), Mickey Rourke as Marv, Jessica Alba returns as the ultra sexy Nancy, Josh Brolin as Dwight, the incredible Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny, Rosario Dawson is the killer kick ass Gail, Bruce Willis returns as the spirit of Hartigan and so on and so forth.
Like the previous outing, Miller and Rodriguez explore the city by revealing it’s quarters through different stories. Often the characters cross over, but they each have their own start, middle and conclusion, which allows the audience to feel as if they are reading a comic book come alive on screen. There are four stories altogether (with one split into two parts) – ‘Just Another Saturday Night’ acts as a sensual and ultra violent prologue to the film. Marv wakes, surrounded by several dead young men and no idea how he got there. Then the audience follows him retracing his steps from the night before.
‘The Long Bad Night’, which is thrilling and throws the audience straight into the films dank and deep heart of darkness sees Johnny, a gambler in the city with only one thing on his mind; to beat Senator Roark (a terrifying Powers Boothe) at a game of poker. But what he doesn’t bargain on is the seriously horrifying wake of death and destruction that will follow him around and what sort of secrets will become revealed in the process.
As the title of this sequel suggests, the central story of the film and the one with the most characters connected across all the Sin City stories is the brilliant, often funny and very sexy, ‘A Dame To Kill For’, which takes place before ‘The Big Fat Kill’ from the previous film. Dwight is working as an investigator, who hears from an ex-lover, Ava. He knows that he shouldn’t go back to her and often refutes her stake in him but alas like the great men of cinema who often think with their junk, an often naked Ava (as she most commonly is within the story) seduces him and she in turn embodies all the great femme fatales. In between trying to kill her husband, staying alive having been beaten to a pulp and one day (with a new face) finding Ava again to avenge everything that he lost, this story is pumped full of action and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end.
The final story, ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’ is set after the scary, ‘ That Yellow Bastard,’ from the previous film. Nancy, dancing in bar, is still struggling with the death of Willis’ character, John Hartigan and decides that it will be down to her to destroy Roark. Along with help from Marv, she must work to find the best way to push herself to pull the trigger – which works towards the explosive and exciting ending.
All in all, this Sin City certainly feels different to the previous outing. Whereas the first had an incredible use of colour and sound, this time around it doesn’t feel quite so unique and innovative, but it still remains just as beautiful to watch. Also the stories themselves don’t feel quite so powerful and urgent as the previous, in the first the stories seemed to talk about some form of justice and the incredible power of the women in the city – this time around, it becomes much more about gratification in the action sequences and bloody violence, but it does further on the canon in a way that will keep the fans happy. Plus if you want a good action film, this is a good choice.