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Frank Miller's Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For


Stars: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, Jaime King, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie Chung, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Meloni, Juno Temple, Julia Garner

Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Some sequels suck.

This ego-driven disaster sucks strongly enough to make Dracula envious.

Joseph Gordon Levitt (the best thing in the film) gets it a tad wrong when he advises the audience “Sin City's where you go in with your eyes open, or you don't come out at all”.

My advice is not to go in or, unless you crave torpor, keep your eyes shut.

I usually prefer Robert Rodriquez films to those by his friend Quentin Tarantino. Sadly, not this redundant sequel which, co-directed by Frank Miller and based on the latter’s cult graphic novels, has little to offer other than to cultists - apart from some reasonably effective 3D cinematography blending monochrome with ‘significant’ red flecks. Cinematography, editing and co-composer are also all credited to Rodriguez, which leaves him with rather too much responsibility for a fiasco which only credits Miller with co-direction, screenplay and the original source graphic novel.

Rather unfortunately, Miller is quoted as saying: “Built around a tragic romance between a man and the love of his life” Sin City 2 is a story that involves a lot of betrayal a lot of darkness and a lot of guilt… all the great stuff that goes into film noir. It’s a story that I’m very proud of and Robert is very fond of”.

That’s their opinion and they’re welcome to it. I found the film to be self-consciously pretentious and increasingly dull despite the plentiful action, bloodshed, brutality and very ‘useful for the trailer’ helpings of sex on offer.

There’s plenty of plot, most of it not worth trying to follow which, given the direction, is probably the best path to take. Simply let the farrago sink in without straining your brain.

Gordon-Levitt plays a bumptious gambler who lands in trouble with crooked senator Powers Boothe, Mickey Rourke is lucky to be near unrecognizable under mounds of porridge-like makeup, the central story A Dame to Kill For, confronts Josh Brolin with sexpot Eva Green wanting him to free her from her abusive husband Martin Csokas - and Bruce Willis returns. Others, too, who I imagine will presumably be praying that their contributions will soon be forgotten include Jessica Alba, Christopher Meloni, Christopher Lloyd, crime movie cliché Ray Liotta and Juno Temple.

It's essentially a full-fat turkey that cries out for a Thanksgiving release (United States) or being released at Christmas (rest of the world).

Even so, genuine nourishment is mostly missing.

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour/black and white.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 28 Aug 2014