As a huge fan of what Robert Rodriguez does, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was pretty high on my list of summer movies to see. Not to mention my love for the first installment and my gusto for anything based on a comic book or graphic novel. Being a graphic designer myself, I’m very drawn to the visual style of these films. You can tell by the very design of this site that even the color palette is of influence to me. So did the quality of the movie come anywhere near my level of excitement for it? Read on to find out.
One can’t review a Sin City movie without making specific mention of the visuals. Rodriguez outdid himself on this one. It uses the same visual style as the original: Black and white with pops of color here and there to help emphasize specific things or characters. In this second installment, the style is expanded on with things like 3D and more interesting transitions. 3D isn’t usually a must-have, but in this particular film I feel it enhances the experience.
The stories in A Dame to Kill For are also set up in a similar way to the first Sin City movie. Here Rodriguez also shows more of a mastery of his craft. The way the stories weave in and out of each other and the way the characters of each story overlap seems a lot more effortless. All of the anti-heroes from the first movie are back for more.
For the most part I enjoyed each of the characters’ stories, but there were some issues. I found it very repetitive how each story winds up in the bar that Nancy works in. This was also a motif in the first movie, so to me it was a whole lot of people just happening to wander into that establishment.
Also, while I love watching Jessica Alba dance around, I wasn’t a big fan of Nancy’s story arc in this one. It just seemed like a lot build up to something lackluster. I liked everything leading up to her big change to being a crazy person though.
The stories of Dwight and Eva Lord as well as Johnny’s story are what made A Dame to Kill For enjoyable for me. I’m hoping they do a special edition blu-ray like the previous film to present each story on its own.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a solid and saficiently bad-ass addition to the franchise. I wouldn’t put it above the first intstallment due to a somewhat repetitive story, but it isn’t far below Sin City. When compared to Rodriguez’ other action films, I think this one is better than Machete Kills, Planet Terror and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. If you’re a fan of his or of the Sin City franchise, you should check it out!