Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
If there is something that Hollywood has given to the overall art of storytelling, it is “film noir”. With noir meaning black in French, film noir relates to a darker style that a movie, starting in the 1940s, would take to create crime dramas that would push everything. It could be the motivations of the villains from sexual desires to greed, it could relate to showing the corrupt nature in our heroes, and even the way the film would look, relying on deep shadows and black and white imagery. This style has influenced the modern day action/adventure genres and even the ones you wouldn’t expect; comic book adaptations.
At around the time film noir was making a presence in the art world, comic books had only just debut and for most of the twentieth century, were seen more as a novelty. The creative minds of Frank Miller and Alan Moore would prove critics wrong by applying darker approaches to Batman and their own creations. One of these creations is Sin City. This is one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, creating it’s twisted city and showing stories from the bowls that live there. A movie adaptation got a bigger crowd following of the noir comic book and people have been demanding a sequel for a while. In comes Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
This is also based off of a graphic novel of the same name, though this one only adapts a few stories along with some from the first that didn’t make it in to the original Sin City movie. So this is both a sequel and a prequel. So I can already tell that those that have not seen Sin City may be confused by what’s going on in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
The first story involves the ugly Marv (played by Mickey Rourke) who goes after four frat boys in retaliation for their ignorance on society and the homeless. The second has a young gambler Johnny (played by Joseph Gordon Levitt) hitting the jackpot and playing the roughest game of poker I’ve seen again corrupt senator Roarke. The third and main story had Dwight McCarthy (played by Josh Brolin) trying to work steady as a detective only to be haunted by his lover Lord (played by Eva Green) and her rise to power. The last story has stripper Nancy (played by Jessica Alba) still tormented over John Hartigan’s (played by Bruce Willis) suicide and her fall into darkness to take revenge.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a ballet of noir and blood. The black and white imagery is just fantastic to look at, giving this movie an actual living comic book feel. The methods of kills and spills turn what would have been a gross violent story into something of beauty. It has to be seen to believe, but for obvious reasons, if your squeamish to the sight of excessive violence and constant nudity, your not going to like this movie.
Every actor is in on the style, all playing their parts just as dark as the city is. The biggest steel is Eva Green’s turn as the seducing Lord. She embodies what most men fear in women; the ability to turn heads, cut off heads, and not show any consistency in what she wants.
Speaking of consistency, tone is something that isn’t. Part of the story seems to give up and move on into the next without much rhyme. It can come off as boring, but it satisfied me.
I’ll give this four black and white scars out of five. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a fun exercise in director Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller visions of how dark mankind can be. This was made for fans of the first movie and comics, but if you got the stomach for it, I would encourage you to take a glace into the world of Sin City.