So I just got back from seeing Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Good ol’ Tuesday night matinée, in a 3D screening, since the theatres here didn’t get a 2D screening. It made some of the movie that much more painful to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I like this movie, but there are moments that make it a let down from the first movie.
The first movie has 4 stories all knitted together very well, and none of the stories feel like they’re over powering the others. This one however has 3 stories interwoven and one vignette with Marv as the intro. The main focus piece being Dwight and the “A Dame To Kill For” story. The problems I had with the movie was that Dwight’s story went way too long, and it wasn’t the pacing. It was characters are not utilized well, especially in the form of Marv. He returns for this one, because all of it is before his character meets his (Spoiler) death in the first Sin City story.
Marv is fine, but he’s just a side character and gets really sort of flat lines in the movie, because we know he’s thinking them, but it doesn’t mean we need him to say them. He had a lot more character development in the first one, which made sense as he was just a mindless killing machine before he met Goldie. While it’s always nice to see Eva Green on-screen and well nude for pretty much most of her screen time. She plays what she’s written very well, and is very manipulative.
I knew she would be, the problem is we don’t see a lot of development for her, and it makes her two-dimensional as a (spoiler) villain. The 3D has its moments where it’s utilized well, like in the credit sequence, but after a while, it all blends together, so you forget you’re even watching a 3D movie.
Kind of making it rather pointless to be used, and was probably just there to make money for the studio. Though it hasn’t paid off, since the movie is doing rather poorly at the box office. I also can see why, as they put it up near Guardians of the Galaxy and Bay’s TMNT. So it was destined to flop from the get go. What they should’ve done, was released it in March, like they did with the first movie, that way they’re long before Marvel and DC’s slugfest of superhero movies.
Now onto Dwight himself, played by Josh Brolin. He’s perfect for the role of Dwight before his change. Unfortunately with his big change being in this movie, it falls flat, when they merely give him Clive Owen’s haircut from the previous movie, without Clive Owen. He’s supposed to have his face completely changed. All they did was take the scars out and change the hair. I know the movie isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but takes you out of the story when everyone on-screen reacts to him being “completely different” when its a cleaned up Brolin with more hair. I don’t mean to nitpick, but still.
The two surprising stories were however, Johnny’s and Nancy’s stories. Johnny’s being The Long, Bad Night that didn’t feel long at all. Due to the movie focusing on Brolin as Dwight, we don’t get the sense of Johnny’s strife, only just small scenes and cameos. It made his story feel compressed and not executed well enough. I felt we could’ve done with more of Johnny’s journey through “The Long Bad Night” by giving him more exposition, and more scenes of his night getting progressively worse. Instead its just a few choice scenes of him, which in Sin City terms is a rather dull evening by comparison.
Nancy’s Revenge works out the best, as its interspersed throughout Dwight’s and it gets more building and building until she finally snaps and decides to act. It was the new material, as Nancy’s stories end after Hartigan and she just becomes a side character for the rest of the graphic novels. So seeing her character development was a nice refresher and with Bruce Willis as Hartigan trying to help her from purgatory or hell in a way. Although if you think about it, having Marv in it didn’t make much sense as she appears in the first movie’s story where Marv ends up dead and she’s completely fine. So continuity error there… Oh well.
The other nitpick I have to say is in Little Miho, as much as I loved seeing Devon Aoki in the role in the previous movie, I wasn’t a fan of the giant eye shadow that was her replacement. No to mention this one being taller than Devon, made her less “Little” in that sense. Again its a nitpick, but I felt it needed to be addressed. The 3D doesn’t help, in one sequence they make Marv seem like a cartoon character with cars buzzing around his head like flies.
Definitely a positive for the movie is the music, Robert Rodriguez returns not only to co-direct with Frank Miller, but also to compose the music with some help on the tasty track “Skin City” featuring the vocals of Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Overall the movie seems like it could’ve done with some editing or a script re-write for more well thought out Dwight story and more of Johnny. Dwight’s story just felt padded, so it was a let down. Since I love the Big Fat Kill story in the first movie.
Final thoughts: If you want to see it and loved the first one, give it a watch, maybe you’ll find it better than I did. Or rent it later, as I doubt it’ll last in theatres much longer.
Side Note: Don’t expect a Guardians Of The Galaxy review from me. I loved it so much, I don’t want to spoil it. It’s very continuity heavy with the rest of the Marvel universe. All I can tell you is believe the hype, and go see it in the theatre. Don’t necessarily see that one in 3D, although I hear the 3D is beautiful in Guardians. So it’s up to you on that one. However, I’ll do a review on Amazing Spider-man 2, as it bothered me too. Not in the same way, but it does bother me, none the less.