Walk down the right back alley in Sin City, and you can find anything. Directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez return to their neo-noir world of violence, vice and sin with the follow up to their groundbreaking 2005 film ‘Sin City‘.
Following the same non-linear narrative introduced in the first film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For follows four interconnected stories through the harsh streets of Basin City. The film’s primary focus is on Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) who is contacted by his former lover, the beautiful Ava Lord (Eva Green), who wishes to escape her abusive husband, billionaire Damien Lord (Marton Csokas). But a love struck Dwight soon learns that Ava’s cry for help might hide far darker intentions.
Brolin is perfect as the pugilistic Dwight, a hard man who has had his share of vices and now ekes out a living as a private investigator. While he’s capable of dispensing a good dose of pain, he also puts himself in the position to receive a fair bit of it himself. Brolin is an absolute beast of man who commands the attention of the screen, and the audience will really be rooting for him to survive and get his payback. The incredibly seductive Green has this definite feminine feline grace and sexuality, which she uses as a razor sharp weapon. This goddess is one bad girl, and the former Bond girl has a lot of fun with her seductive personality. Green was definitely the right choice for the role as she also has the look of a 1940s starlet (which is in keeping with the film’s noir material), and she’s a ball of energy up on screen. The absolutely stunning Rosario Dawson also returns as the tough talking Gail, and brings a dash of smoking sexuality to the film, while Dennis Haysbert takes on the role of the vicious Manute from Michael Clarke Duncan, and is well up to the task.
‘A Dame To Kill For‘ is bookended by two very different, but interconnected stories: ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’ and ‘The Long Bad Night’. “Nancy’s Last Dance” follows Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) as she tries to cope in the wake of John Hartigan’s (Bruce Willis) death, while plotting to kill Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) while “The Long Bad Night” sees Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a cocky gambler, who wants to destroy the biggest villain in Sin City at his own game, until he beats the wrong man and events take a turn for the worse. The film also features “Just Another Saturday Night” which finds Marv (Mickey Rourke) back on the streets, waking up on a highway overlooking the Projects, surrounded by several dead young men and unable to remember how he got there.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is front and centre in ‘The Long Bad Night’ portraying a character that plays to Levitt’s strengths as an actor. Johnny is a brash, arrogant, slick hustler who makes no attempt to hide his incredible skill and luck at the poker tables, and his smart-aleck charm will take him along way with audiences. He’s pitted against corruption incarnate with Powers Boothe returning as the sinister Senator Roark. The scenes where these two battle it out at the tables are pretty incredible to watch, and things do get intense. Also keep your eyes open for a surprise cameo from Christopher Lloyd.
Finally, ‘Nancy’s Last Dance’ follows Nancy Callahan as she struggles through the death of John Hartigan, and makes a move to avenge his death. This part of the film was definitely my favorite as its fun to watch Nancy completely fall to pieces, and then go crazy. Nancy’s battling some demons this time around, and her reliance on the bottle isn’t helping. Alba’s commitment is frightening, particularly with the extremes that she goes to in her performance. Again, she has to contend with Powers Boothe’s vial Senator Roark, but she gets some help from Mickey Rourke who returns as the ever lovable Marv, and who has a lot of fun doing what he does best: wrecking absolute havoc.
Miller and Rodriguez were absolutely groundbreaking with the first ‘Sin City’, and the two co-directors were literally ahead of their time with this mind-blowing film through the power and capability of their special effects. With this return trip to the infamous Basin City however, they’ve truly raised the bar with an epic avant garde approach.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is violent, brutal and scintillating with every frame, and audiences are sure to lap it all up. So remember to walk down the right back alley in Sin City, because you can find anything….