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In a world far grittier and dangerous than our own, Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For breathes new life into the force of reckoning that is Miller’s graphic novel of the same name.
This is not a sequel in the traditional movie sequel sense.
And that is a great thing.
Like The Godfather Part II, one of the greatest films ever made, the second installment in the Sin City series from directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller is an innovative and independent masterpiece all its own.
Roughly two thirds of A Dame To Kill For goes back in time to events before the storylines in Sin City and depicts, often panel for panel, one of Frank Miller’s legendary graphic novel stories, as it was written and drawn by himself.
Each story taking place in and around Sin City’s shadowy towns are Frank Miller’s babies, his love.
Often considered one of Sin City’s deepest storylines, A Dame To Kill For depicts Ava, played perfectly by Eva Green, one of the all-time earth-shatteringly brilliant, ruthless, transcendent heroines ever crafted as a character in a fictitious work, and it also has a fierce monster of an anti-hero in Dwight McCarthy (played by Josh Brolin).
Make no mistake this is one of Miller’s best stories and that is saying something.
It is no wonder that many critics have glossed over this movie without praising it, because what goes on between Dwight and Ava alone is far beyond the normal cookie-cutter stereotypes that Hollywood revels in understanding in just two minutes of seeing them on-screen.
This is a smart movie with depth, fun, and gore.
Some reviewers have even commented that the flick might have been great if the overwhelming violence toward women did not completely turn them off.
The violence of striking women is actually far less than it was in the first movie (that the same critics loved once flocks of readers brought millions into the box office).
Domestic violence is nothing to consider lightly, but the world in which Sin City resides is a magnified look into our world’s ugliest and most beautiful intricacies, and with that, in Sin City women are treated more equally than they are in the misogynistic western society of the real world, and so they are actually kicking ass themselves, as strong people.
In Sin City, strife seems to find everyone, just as it does in the books.
Though the hooker with the heart of gold, Gail (reprised by Rosario Dawson), comes from a long line of western movie character types, in Sin City she is a smart, active leader that thoroughly fights for what she believes in, decimating those standing in her way.
Gail blows the mold to smithereens.
For those that loved the first movie and wanted new material to follow-up certain events, Miller and Rodriguez intertwine a new storyline of “the lucky guy” Johnny, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and this crosses back and forth between Katie’s Bar where Nancy Callahan, depicted by the stunning Jessica Alba, is seeing Hartigan’s ghost after his untimely death in the first film.
What happens to the girl who only ever loved one man and lost him abruptly?
HINT: It is not good.
The remaining Roarke is at the heart of her troubles and after losing big poker hands to Johnny, the good senator is his thorn as well.
The new writing from Miller is every bit of Sin City that any of the graphic novels or the first movie was, and it does not disappoint.
Many great new characters are brought to the screen, such as a demented Dr. Kroenig played aptly by Christopher Lloyd and crime boss/living rock formation Wallenquist played by Stacy Keach.
But often stealing the show is one of Miller’s favorites, Marv!
The character Marv, reprised by the living embodiment of the graphic novel drawing Mickey Rourke, is back in all of his short quips, coat-wearing do-good-through-bashing-badguys glory.
How is this possible?
Well if the storyline of Marv in the first film took place after all of the others, than he would still be cracking heads and helping out his pals, as he does so damn well.
Impulsive Review Grade: A+
By R.J. Huneke