Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (d. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez USA 2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (d. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez USA 2014)

 

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

 

Entertainment: starfish starfish starfish 

Performances: starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability: starfish starfish starfish 

Technical: starfish starfish starfish starfish

Have you ever heard of Film Noir? As much as Sin City (d. Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez USA 2005) owes its style to Comic Books, it also does to Film Noir. Chiaroscuro, expressionism, voice-over, flawed heroes and femme fatales are all trademarks of Film Noir. The classic days of Film Noir that brought us films like Double Indemnity (d. Billy Wilder USA 1944), The Maltese Falcon (d. John Huston USA 1941), The Big Sleep (d. Howard Hawks USA 1946) and The Killing (d. Stanley Kubrick USA 1956) are behind us, but this hasn’t stopped many recent films to take influence. Greatly informing Sin City’s visual style and taking the film to a great success, it seems like Film Noir is still just as influential. Sin City established an interesting blend of Film Noir and Comic Book, which is instantly recognisable and it wasn’t going to stop there. 

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a continuation of Sin City, episodic with many protagonists. In this way, it can often be hard to keep up with everything that is going on and some episodes seem too short or too long as if its many films in one. There are a lot of actors both appearing and reappearing in this film to give good performances and to give life to some interesting characters. And yet. Something seems to lack. It’s as if the energy of the first is not quite carried on, which is not entirely fair. There is a lot to love in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the film takes full advantage of the 18 certificate – perhaps to excess. 

 

The visual style is a sight for sore eyes and yet it’s also nothing new. Better to see it here than in something like The Spirit (d. Frank Miller USA 2008). The refreshing look of sharp contrast and selective colour can be very effective. Though in this film it doesn’t look quite as striking or relevant as in Sin City but then every film has a predecessor that paved the way for its impact. Certainly the film looks a lot more slick than many others out there. As a Film Noir, it doesn’t quite fit in, far too painted and comic book to have that particular shade of grey. Far from a problem, the only real criticism is that it’s not Sin City, which isn’t really a criticism at all.

A great addition to the Sin City universe and i’m sure many would love to see more. What was established with Sin City continues and that is all. I admit this does seem to take from the energy, not that it should but it does. Very entertaining with many likeable characters – this might actually be because of their flaws. The drama and action make for a very entertaining film and if you don’t like one segment, the next might be a lot better. However, this is definitely not for anyone who wasn’t a fan of Sin City.

Synopsis

Sin City is full of some rather questionable characters, there’s a reason it’s called Sin City. Some try and keep order whilst some settle personal vendettas and have fun all to their own rules. This is the second story of some of these characters. 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Eva Green’s Site

Interview with Cast and Crew

Interview with Josh Brolin

Interview with Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez

Eva Green on Playing the Ultimate Femme Fatale

Film Noir the Elusive Genre



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