Sin City! A Dame to Kill For! The much anticipated sequel to 2005’s Sin City. After years in developmental hell, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have finally brought us the follow up. What has now developed a cult classic following, Sin City was most of the most visually stunning films put out of all time, A Dame to Kill For had a lot to live up.
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The anticipation had built for nine years, nearly a decade. The film reunites us with stars from the original including Mickey Rouke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, and Jaime King. Michael Clarke Duncan, Clive Owen, and Devon Aoki are replaced this go around by Dennis Haysbert, Josh Brolin, and Jaime Chung respectively.
Rounding out the ensemble cast they are joined by Joesph Gordon-Levitt, Marton Csokas, Christopher Lloyd, Julia Garner, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Lady Gaga, and Crystal McCahill.
A Dame to kill for follows three stories, the premier story is the title story, which follows Dwight (Brolin), as he is twisted and manipulated by Eva (Green). It is very heavy on Marv (Rouke) as he and Dwight team together to protect Eva while end up being roused into her twisted plot. This sequence in the film serves as a prequel to Sin City, explaining why it is that Dwight is played by Brolin, as opposed to Clive Owen.
The other stories are sort of intertwining stories that take place after Sin City, making this part of the film a true sequel. They include “just another Saturday night” that follows Marv after Sin City as he deals with Nancy (Alba) reuniting with Hartigan (Willis), “The Long Bad Night” that follows Johnny(JGL) as he gambles his way to the top of Sin City, and must deal with Consequences. And finally “Nancy’s Last Dance” that follows Nancy as she breaks down after the loss of Hartigan and joins Marv in a hunt to take down the man responsible, Senator Roark.
The film is very fun. It you were a fan of the first film, you are definitely going to be a fan of this installment. The visuals are epic and absolutely beautiful. It makes sense that they have taken their time to get this film out. The action sequences are beautifully shot and literally look like they are taken from the graphic novel pages. Frank Miller, who we know thanks to The Spirit is a terrible director on his own, but when he teams with Rodriguez, these two can truly bring the fans what it is they want. These films are the best adaptations of graphic novels or comic books out there.
It’s not all perfect though. There are a few times, mostly during A Dame to Kill For, that the film can drag. As well it is truly missing Michael Clarke Duncan and Devon Aoki. Understandably having to recast Manute after the passing of Duncan, but Haysbert is just not the fit. And I don’t know why Aoki was recast with Chung, and all though she gives us more action, she doesn’t have the look that Aoki had. Aoki had that stone cold look to her that gave you a respect and fear for her character.
All in all it’s a great film. I scored it a Jeebus Score of 4.1, but then added a .4 bonus for a naked Eva Green, rounding us out to 4.5, a Good time at the theater.
The Jeebus System explained:
I base films on what I call the Jeebus System, which is a 6 point grade with a possible .5 bonus. With a full 1 point given for entertainment value, story, SFX or cinematography, acting, and casting each, then a half point for direction and dialog each. Titles are given to each score, with “death penalty to all involved” to anything <.9. “You’ll see this on FXx a lot” for <1.9. “Redbox or Netflix it” for <2.9. “Check out the Matinee” for <3.9. “A good time at the theater” for <4.9. “Multiple viewings required” for <5.9. And finally, Jeebus-tacular for 6 or above.