Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
Violent, visual and vivid
on 1 October 2014
If anything, the second instalment of Sin City is even more gorgeous to sit back and admire than its predecessor. The visuals are stunning. They make no apology for the series’ graphic-novel origins but instead bring layers of sharp-edged intensity to the stylised live action. Where colour is used – sparingly – it has massive effect. And of course, keeping all the blood-spatter (there’s gallons of it) in mono means the film can be utterly graphic in its ultra-violent action sequences.
This film tries to tie together three or four different plot-lines which revolve around Basin City, the seedy geezers in the gin-joints, the underdogs from the no-go zones, and the utterly corrupt politicians and their barking dogs who maintain some kind of order. It’s not entirely successful in pulling all the threads together, let down by some weaker storylines which don’t bear much scrutiny when you give them any kind of consideration (like what the young man playing poker actually intended to do once he’d woken a sleeping beast which could chew him up and spit him out without breathing hard).
However, A Dame To Kill For is at its best if you stop thinking too much and just sit back to enjoy the intense performances from the ensemble cast. Bruce Willis and Josh Brolin are brilliant; Jessica Alba’s transformation is little short of astonishing. The film’s strength is in its continuation of the original plot… perhaps its weakness is that the subplots don’t serve much purpose other than to fill the time, and they distract from the emotional impact of the main event.
Yes, ADTKF is outrageously exploitative (of whom, exactly?), sexually charged, vicious and downright dirty. I’d expect nothing less from Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. Perhaps because we knew what to expect this time around, and because the first Sin City was so successfully shocking, people don’t find the second instalment as rewarding as the first. My guess is that when we watch them back-to-back, this one will be – almost – as enjoyable as the original.