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Clive Owen
Jessica Alba
Mickey Rourke
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Eva Green
Juno Temple
Josh Brolin
Jaime King
Rosario Dawson
Jamie Chung.
Frank Miller
Robert Rodriguez.
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Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
Back in black. And white

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It was another dark night in Basin City when lovers Dwight and Ava Lord were reunited. But in Sin City, a reunion is never good news. And Ava has plans for Dwight.

Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
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Back in 2005, Robert Rodriguez and graphic novel creator Frank Miller collaborated to bring Miller’s noir-heavy tales of Sin City to the big screen. Despite the success of that film, it has taken them nearly a decade to wrangle the budget and cast together for a second shot. This time around, the pair have cherry-picked elements from the second, eponymous story in the Sin City series and a short yarn from the sixth book combined with two original narratives — The Fat Loss and The Long Bad Night — that the author created for the film. Rodriguez, meanwhile, is again on jack-of-all-trades duty, acting as co-director, cinematographer, editor and writing some of the score. Given his predilection for cooking, he probably whipped up a few on-set meals to boot.



A Dame To Kill For keeps to the template set out by the first film, and even pushes the comic visuals a step further now that audiences have accepted what the directors were able to do last time. So we return to a torn-from-the-pages monochrome city of dingy shadows, driving digital rain, and the occasional splash of colour for effect. In fact, it’s a neat shot of computer-generated Mickey Spillane as before, but this time with an added femme-fatale count.





Eva Green makes for a viper of a character in Ava Lord, able to switch her behaviour according to the poor sap she’s trying to lure, and the actress is clearly relishing the chance to play such a conniving con artist who wraps men around her little finger and disposes of them when they’re no longer useful.





Josh Brolin, taking over from Clive Owen for an earlier visit to Dwight McCarthy’s tough existence, gives weary life to a man the world — and lots of people in it — just keeps wanting to beat up. Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes even more punishment as Johnny, the cocksure gambler on a mission to do more than win at poker, yet who ends up losing big. Despite being a completely original tale, Johnny feels like a natural addition to the Sin City canon, a man ready for this tough town to chew up and spit out.





The veterans, meanwhile, are still on good form: Marv fits Mickey Rourke like a glove, and he’s just as dark and dangerous as ever, whether he’s punishing frat boys for killing tramps or helping Dwight with a mission of his own. Jessica Alba’s Nancy adds a few shades from the woman we met before — she’s now a damaged, gun-toting version of herself, scarred and sadistic, channelling her fury through her dancing and building up the guts to slaughter the powerful, dreadful Senator Roark (Powers Boothe, back on smug, cigar-chewing form).





Of course, hewing so closely to the feel of the original means that its inherent problems still exist: even Ava Lord’s slinky power and the weapon-hefting ladies of Old Town (led once more by Rosario Dawson’s Gail) can’t banish the idea that women get treated terribly in this world, and the men don’t come out looking much better. The stylish noir treatment lends a surreal aspect that helps mitigate a lot of that, but the issues remain. Some of the dialogue slides from hard-boiled noir narration to sounding like the feverish dream of a teenager working himself into a Chandler-fuelled frenzy, and not all of the performances fit as well as you might expect.





Yet Rodriguez and Miller have pulled off a sequel that feels truly of a piece with the original, exploring and expanding the world of Sin City and delivering a heady brew of noir, danger and style that will either make you wish you could visit or glad you don’t live within a thousand miles of anywhere like it.



A Dame To Kill For shares some of the downsides of the first, particularly dubious female characterisation. But this retains the gritty, gruelling vice-grip on graphic-novel noir that made Sin City so enjoyable.

Reviewed by James White

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Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

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Average user rating for Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
Empire Star Rating

RE: Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

I liked rather than loved the first film, but thought this was pretty terrible, a charmless sequel that had next to nothing to recommend it, and none of what made the first film enjoyable - I can't remember the last time I was so bored by a film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Indio at 00:00, 27 December 2014 | Report This Post


i think its safe to say there won't be a third film after this cliched tripe....noir my bum...the first film at least had a novelty factor about it, and some of the characters kept your attention....the only good thing in this are two things, and they both belong in a bra...or not...really lazy storytelling.....3/10 ... More

Posted by No Diggity at 15:53, 22 September 2014 | Report This Post


Almost as boring as the first one. It's slightly more fun, but astoundingly unconvincing and cheap-looking, not to mention deeply misogynist , it's basically a 12 year-old's version of ir 4/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 20:47, 09 September 2014 | Report This Post


A big drop from the first one. Thought JGL story was really weak, and that by trying to make the story more feminist they actually did the oppisite and made it more offisive towards women. The style was exciting once again, and there were some good scenes, but the characters and stories just weren't advanced enough,and by the end it did feel like a bit of an anticlimax. 2 Stars ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ElephantBoy at 15:43, 06 September 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Not everyone's cup of tea, but a dark, gritty and captivating noir thriller.

Not as good as the first one, but enjoyable nonethless, especially Rourke's Marv. If you like Eva Green's breasts, you'll have a 5 star experience. ... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 11:05, 01 September 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

I left this film feeling deflated and somewhat underwhelmed. As a fan of the first film, this was a huge disappointment. Some of the new cast fitted in very well including Brolin, Gordon Levitt, Green and Gaga (for her brief scene) but there was a lack of narrative cohesion between the stories which make the film as a whole un engaging. Another problem was expanding Jessica Abla's part; she just doesn't have the charisma to carry a film and focussing on her character actually hurts the film , d... More

Posted by Workshed at 15:25, 31 August 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

During the mid-noughties, there were a number of films that were shot primarily on a digital backlot, blending live actors with computer-generated surroundings, from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (which was a box office flop) to the Japanese tokusatsu spectacle Casshern. However, amongst these films, the most notable was Robert Rodriguez’s 2005 neo-noir Sin City, which is really a translation than an adaptation of three of Frank Miller’s graphic novel series. Nine years after its predec... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 02:34, 30 August 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Superb

Interesting...I deduced that the continuity was a mess from the trailers, thanks for confirming it for me. It deserves less than three stars, possibly no stars at all, for such a basic screw-up! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Belisarius0365 at 21:39, 28 August 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Superb

I really enjoyed it but like others have said, it lacked the punch of the first and I mean that in terms of both visual flair and action. The day after watching the sequel at the cinema I went back and watched the original. I was fully expecting it to not be as brutal or as entertaining as I remembered but it was! This made the sequel seem even tamer in comparison. The range of environments we see in the original compared to the sequel is staggering. The range of uniquely different characters, ... More

Posted by Vadersville at 18:57, 27 August 2014 | Report This Post

RE: None more black.

This was a bit like watching Pulp Fiction with all the John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson bits taken out, leaving you with the alright but not nearly as entertaining Bruce Willis bits. Except that, actually, they are both in it, they're just inserted into Bruce Willis' story as comedy sidekicks and hired muscle. I was sort of interested in what was happening but also occasionally quite bored. The visual style isn't striking any more, and it wasn't nearly as brutal as the film I saw 9... More

Posted by Hood_Man at 23:56, 26 August 2014 | Report This Post

RE: 3 stars?

Kind of looking forward to this, enjoyed the first, and yes I agree, the review reads more like a pushing 4 stars than a 3 (3 being good however, lets not forget that - it's not a rating) Cant believe the first one was nearly 10 years ago. ... More

Posted by jonson at 08:28, 21 August 2014 | Report This Post

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