By: Kaitlyn McKay, Columnist
“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is the sequel to 2005 film, “Sin City.” Like the first film, the sequel is co-directed and written by Frank Miller and adapted from his graphic novel series of the same name. In terms of plot, the sequel is structured the same as its predecessor. It is an anthology film, comprised of multiple stories that all take place in appropriately named Sin City, where crime and violence are a part of life. The film is separated into three different stories where the different characters cross paths with one another as they embark on their own path for vengeance.
The sequel largely keeps what was entertaining about the first film: Morally corrupt characters from all walks of life, high contrast of black and white film with some splashes of color, great performances from talented actors and fun, over-the-top action. The sequel also sees the return of many characters from the original, most notably Marv (Mickey Rourke) who is arguably the first film’s most memorable character, Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin), who replaced Clive Owen from the previous film, and Nancy (Jessica Alba), the classic stripper with a heart of gold.
Two of the three stories featured were made for the film. The only one from the graphic novels is the second story, “A Dame to Kill For,” where Dwight is reunited with his old flame Ava Lord (Eva Green), four years after she leaves him for a wealthy man. The other two stories, “The Long Bad Night” and “Nancy’s Last Dance,” were written specifically for the film and are considerably weaker than any of the other stories in both the first and second film. The first story, which features a young man named Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who returns to Sin City only to end up on the bad side of the city’s unofficial ruler, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe), feels like filler. While the second story follows another adventure of a familiar character and the third story is a sequel to an event that happened in the previous film, the first story does not do much, as Johnny is less interesting than the other characters. The only thing the first story does well is provide more screen time for Boothe, who only had a few scenes in the first film.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt tries his best as Johnny, but the character is too dull for the world of Sin City. Eva Green as Dwight’s former girlfriend, Ava, is the complete opposite. Green is a femme fatale straight out of a classical 1940’s film noir. Green is seductive and perfect as the venomous Ava and fits right in the dark, dreary atmosphere of Sin City. The returning actors are all still on point, even after nine years since they first portrayed their characters. Mickey Rourke fits right back in as Marv as though he never stopped playing him and Rosario Dawson as Gail, Dwight’s old friend from Sin City’s red light district, is as hot headed and tough as she was in the first film. Every actor is great in this film. Is the sequel still as good as the first? No, but it is still just as fun.