Nine years after the release of Sin City, directors Robert Rodriquez and Frank Miller (who also wrote the script) reunite for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, a sequel that visually intoxicating, yet dimly vacant on the inside. Unraveling over four vignettes (two that have been ripped from Miller’s source material, and two that have been written specifically), the film adopts the same template as its predecessor, but fails to fix any of the problems. There’s only one narrative out of the whole film that’s worthwhile. It features Dwight (now played by Josh Brolin), a protector of Old Town who’s sucked into the schemes of double-crosser Ava Lord (Eva Green, as eye-catching as ever), while the other three fall foul to bad writing and soulless performances (Jessica Alba’s segment is particularly laborious). The visuals are as noir-drenched as ever. The lathering of sex, blood and violence is undoubtedly neat to see, and the 3D enhances it all that extra dimension. But underneath it all, there’s nothing to chew on, and no matter how talented and famous a lot of the cast members are, none of them are given much to do aside from play up to various stereotypes (the whore, the ruler, the dimwit). If Sin City: A Dame To Kill For does anything at all aside from tickle our optic nerves from time to time, it’s that it delivers proof that Sin City was a one-off hit due to its noir-emulating technical wizardry, and a mere do-over isn’t enough to fill audiences cravings.
A longer version of this review was first posted on CineVue.