Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select



FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Clive Owen
Jessica Alba
Mickey Rourke
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Eva Green
Juno Temple
Josh Brolin
Jaime King
Rosario Dawson
Jamie Chung.
Directors
Frank Miller
Robert Rodriguez.
Screenwriters
Frank Miller.
Running Time
102 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Concerning Violence
4 Star Empire Rating
Stations Of The Cross
3 Star Empire Rating
Horrible Bosses 2
3 Star Empire Rating
My Old Lady
2 Star Empire Rating
Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
Back in black. And white


submit to reddit


Plot
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.


Review
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For
Browse more images »

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.


Verdict
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

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

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

tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458481/?ref_=nv_sr_1]Sin City: A Dame To Kill Forfter a nine-year wait, this year the sequel to Sin City finally arrived and now I was finally able to see it. As far as I`m concerned it was well worth the wait. If you talk about style and design it isn`t anything new but on the other hand I`m glad that they continued that. Even harder and more sadisctic and with cool storylines and great sort of black humour. It`s sad that Clive Owen isn`t part of it anymore but as fa... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 21:36, 29 October 2014 | Report This Post


RE: WORTH A LOOK.....

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


RE: WORTH A LOOK.....

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


RE: WORTH A LOOK.....

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


WORTH A LOOK.....

Much of a same old, same old really. The violence and stylised trimmings are all still present and correct but the familiar characters and the cheesy dialogue are clearly starting to betray their two dimensional comic book roots. Miller's idea of drama mainly seems to consist of a bunch of old men sitting in a smoke filled Hooters bar, ogling scantily clad women and drinking gallons of beer and while I appreciate that the stories are a going for an old fashioned Film Noir look , it has to be sai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:29, 02 September 2014 | Report This Post


WORTH A LOOK.....

Much of a same old, same old really. The violence and stylised trimmings are all still present and correct but the familiar characters and the cheesy dialogue are clearly starting to betray their two dimensional comic book roots. Miller's idea of drama mainly seems to consist of a bunch of old men sitting in a smoke filled Hooters bar, ogling scantily clad women and drinking gallons of beer and while I appreciate that the stories are a going for an old fashioned Film Noir look , it has to be sai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:28, 02 September 2014 | Report This Post


WORTH A LOOK.....

Much of a same old, same old really. The violence and stylised trimmings are all still present and correct but the familiar characters and the cheesy dialogue are clearly starting to betray their two dimensional comic book roots. Miller's idea of drama mainly seems to consist of a bunch of old men sitting in a smoke filled Hooters bar, ogling scantily clad women and drinking gallons of beer and while I appreciate that the stories are a going for an old fashioned Film Noir look , it has to be sai... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:28, 02 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


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

Like it's 2005 predecessor, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is an acquired taste in cinema. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novels of the same name it appeals mainly to those that are fond of the gritty, blood-drenched crime genre, with it's adult themes and noir setting. The story is split into four 'mini-plots', three being sequels to the first film and one being a prequel of sorts, which all revolve around the citizens of Basin City. Each of the plots are well written, and each are acted bril... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Benoit03 at 18:41, 31 August 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


It's a sin

It is one of those sequels that is so bad it actually ruins the original film for you. Like Hannibal or oceans 12. Save yourselves. Eva green's praise for the film appears to be because she appears for most of the movie sans clothes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clarkp at 18:53, 29 August 2014 | Report This Post


It's a sin

It is one of those sequels that is so bad it actually ruins the original film for you. Like Hannibal or oceans 12. Save yourselves. Eva green's praise for the film appears to be because she appears for most of the movie sans clothes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clarkp at 18:53, 29 August 2014 | Report This Post


It's a sin

It is one of those sequels that is so bad it actually ruins the original film for you. Like Hannibal or oceans 12. Save yourselves. Eva green's praise for the film appears to be because she appears for most of the movie sans clothes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clarkp at 18:52, 29 August 2014 | Report This Post


It's a sin

It is one of those sequels that is so bad it actually ruins the original film for you. Like Hannibal or oceans 12. Save yourselves. Eva green's praise for the film appears to be because she appears for most of the movie sans clothes. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by clarkp at 18:52, 29 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


Superb

Loved every second of this, just as good if not even better than the original. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Azzurro06 at 18:17, 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


None more black.

Another trio of tales of nocturnal sleaze, debauchery and vengeance, 'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' has been made with care and attention, but I'm not entirely sure there was any need for it to exist. It expands on the continuity of the first film with flair and conviction, but it never really adds anything to it. The moments of monochromatic bloodshed which drag the smoky 1930's screaming into the present-day seem to be spaced too far apart, even if when they do arrive, they do so with a glee ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 20:53, 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


3 stars?

Honestly struggling to pick out two stars worth of negatives in this review. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RyanShanks at 20:28, 20 August 2014 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Farewell To Middle-Earth Issue:
Guest -Edited By Peter Jackson

The countdown to Empire's stunning new issue begins here...

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Robert De Niro
The heavyweight champion of character immersion, explosive rage and jawdropping subtleties

Empire Meets Thelma Schoonmaker
On editing Scorsese, GoodFellas and a life in film

5 Possible Captain America: Civil War Roles For Daniel Brühl
Failing a Red Skull return, here are some Marvel villains the actor could play...

Kit Harington On How To Train Your Dragon 2
As the sequel hits home entertainment, we talk to the Game Of Thrones star

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)