“This rotten city… It swells everybody,” said Nancy Callahan.
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Welcome back to the notorious Basin City—a city of the corrupted and the sinister, where Roark dynasty rules and daylights never present in any story. Robert Rodriguez returns to his second highest grossing franchise after being away for 9 years (a gap too loose to produce 4 Spy Kids and a couple of Machete) for a sequel to his acclaimed Sin City (2005). Teaming up with writer/mentor Frank Miller, Rodriguez presents you Sin City: A Dame To Kill For—a sequel that can never top its predecessor (and never plays the Sin City End Theme that tricked me).
Sin City 2 is still as fun as the first one—with lots of gory fun and sexploitations—making it a sequel to the biggest and the most “violentertetaining” comic-book adaptation. It’s still devicing black and white cinematography with pounding of primary colors to shade sometimes; and also voice-overs to narrate the story. This sequel narrates 4 different stories (without definite titles or separate chapters like in the predecessor) about the city’s most badass citizens we ever met in the first Sin City.
Just Another Saturday Night tells another tale of the juggernaut Marv (Mickey Rourke) prior to what happened to him in Sin City; Long Bad Night is a new story telling about Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a slick gambler that returns to Basin City to try his luck; A Dame To Kill For journeys behind the back of the old-faced Dwight (now portrayed by Josh Brolin that looks like Clive Owen) in confronting his former seducing lover, Ava Lord (Eva Green); and Nancy’s Last Dance follows desperate Nancy (Jessica Alba) to avenge the death of Hartigan (Bruce Willis).
Since it serves as a series of prequels and sequels at once, Sin City 2 brings back our favorite citizens along with the great casts behind. Some of recurring characters are portrayed by the same actors like Rourke, Willis, Rosario Dawson and wild Alba; while some others are re-casted, including Jamie Chung, who replaces Devon Aoki to portray Miho; and don’t forget many new faces that give Sin City a grin, like JGL, Brolin, and Lady Gaga (second cameo in Rodriguez’s world). One best advice to view Sin City 2 is: Don’t let yourself being a newbie in the cruel world of Sin City; otherwise, you’ll get lost in the filthy blood bath of this series’ canon.
The visuals and the tone is as astonishing as the first Sin City; yet, that’s the problem. There’s barely an improvement to the predecessor; or cynically, Sin City 2 is an identical carbon copy of Rodriguez’s acclaimed Sin City in 2005 with different stories. What makes it worst is: there’s no introduction to characters (except to Johnny and Ava Lord); making it difficult to follow and frustrating somehow. We all know that Rodriguez likes to have fun (you watch Machete Kills and you’ll know); but if Sin City 2‘s a joke, it’s the lame one—and it’s an internal one.
For those who worships Rodriguez’s first Sin City, this new Sin City is a disappointment as it’s only half as fun as the predecessor… and so much less brutal than the first. If this is how Rodriguez tries to make another fun of his ‘legendary’ masterpiece, he’s completely fucked up. Sin City 2 might ruin his established dynasty in Basin City.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)
Crime, Thriller, Adaptation Directed by: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller Written by: Frank Miller Starred by: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Jamie Chung Running Time: 102 mins Rated R