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|Sin City: A Dame to Kill For|
dir Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
scr Frank Miller
prd Robert Rodriguez, Sergei Bespalov, Aaron Kaufman, Stephen L'Heureux, Mark C Manuel, Alexander Rodnyansky
with Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Powers Boothe, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Julia Garner, Jamie Chung, Christopher Lloyd, Juno Temple, Lady Gaga
release US/UK 22.Aug.14
14/US Miramax 1h42
This rotten town soils everybody: Green and Brolin (above); Gordon-Levitt (below)
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Three stories interlock in this sequel to the 2005 film, as the tortured souls of Basin City circle each other seeking revenge for earlier events. It's well worth a look due to its surprisingly lean and mean script. And the technology has advanced in the past decade, so it looks pretty amazing in 3D.
While tough guy Marv (Rourke) watches over her, stripper Nancy (Alba) yearns for vengeance against greedy politician Roark (Booth), who killed Hartigan (Willis). Meanwhile, private eye Dwight (Brolin) runs into his ex Ava (Green), who still holds seductive power over him. And most other men. As she asks for help with a domestic problem, he realises to late that something else is going on. At the same time, young Johnny (Gordon-Levitt) sets out to prove that Roark is a loser by beating him at poker. But that'll take a lot more than good luck.
Once again, the film is styled like a comic book in motion: in black and white with spot-colour (mainly splashes of red in lipstick, nail polish and hair) and sequences that play out through animated silhouettes or hyper-stylised effects. It's extremely violent, but the blood is white. And there just as much attention to graphic sexuality. But amid the macho grunting and blunt manly aesthetic, the women are certainly not victims.
The sprawling cast sometimes struggles for attention (Jaime King is lost in the shuffle), but Green is the film's force of nature, vamping through her scenes, often naked. Her love-and-death tussle with Brolin is surprisingly involving. The other dark force is Booth, an arrogant power-monger who just might be as invincible as he thinks he is. He takes on the two most desperate characters in Alba's Nancy and Gordon-Levitt's Johnny, and both actors mine depth in their roles.
While the film seems too interested in its design for the characters to resonate properly, it still oozes biting wit and dark emotion. And the script is a terrific stream of pithy commentary, including some hilarious dialog ("The pavement came up and gave me a wet, sloppy kiss") and a few very funny gags, mainly centring on helpless men in the presence of a bombshell like Ava. And with such a terrific range of characters, plus its remarkably unfussy storytelling, it's also thoroughly entertaining.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall|
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