Comic book films are all the rage these days, but most of them take their own liberties with the properties to create a somewhat new vision of the property. One of the most iconic creators in the business Frank Miller has been leaving his unique mark across the industry for years and shifted his focus to the big screen with 2005s Sin City. The film took a direct approach to the adapting the book with Miller himself co-directing alongside Robert Rodriguez. A sequel had been talked about for some time and it is finally here with Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, but is it a welcome return to the city or should you just move?
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For follows three more stories from the Frank Miller graphic novels with two of them based on actual books and the other an original story new to the film. Some may not understand if they have never read the comics, but Clive Owen’s character has been replaced with Josh Brolin, but is necessary as it actually fits with the story. For those that do not remember it is mentioned in the first film about him having plastic surgery and parts of this film serve as a prequel to the original, with Brolin taking on the pre-surgery version of the character. There are some other cast changes of familiar characters with Dennis Haysbert doing a great job taking on the role originally played by the late Michael Clarke Duncan and Jamie Chung filling in for Devon Aoki who was unable to film due to pregnancy. Mickey Rourke didn’t feel as strong as the character this time around, but still makes the character his own. While his story in the film didn’t really have a purpose, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome as always and takes this story to another level making it really fun. Jessica Alba does a fine job with her character with the exception of some silly dance moments that are hard to tell if she was doing that on purpose or just not all that great with the dancing, either way it is a smaller aspect to the bigger direction of her story. The rest of the returning and new cast including Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jaime King, Juno Temple, and Stacy Keach do a good job with their roles to this world together.
The stories are all entertaining and interesting in their own way with a few of the moments feeling a bit slow, but still managing to have better pacing than the original on some level. Part of the issue is likely to the newness being gone so going in you want to get to the point, but instead they keep the noir aspect in place, as they should have, to make sure the film feels like the continuation it should be. These specific stories work great for the film, but are not as always as captivating as the ones in the original film, but will likely be a subject of debate depending on peoples favorites in the original novel series. One of the standout things in these films is the visual style used to bring the comic off the page and it steps things up for this one. While it keeps the same tone, if feels a lot cleaner overall and is really cool to watch. The car sequences in the first film were cool to look at but with this one they work even better making them feel more like the rest of the world that is surrounding them.
This is one of those that may take a couple of viewings to really get your full opinion formed. There is a lot going on and follows the same format of the original, but as mentioned above was slow at times and some aspects felt pointless, but still manages to deliver a fun return to the world of Sin City. If it does well and they decide to journey back it will be a welcomed trip let’s just hope it doesn’t take so long.
Step back into the noir underworld when Sin City: A Dame To Kill for comes to Blu-ray and DVD on November 18th.