The Movie Review: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill for’

A hulking thug out to avenge the death of a woman he spent one night with, a ladies’ man trying to prevent a gang war, and a cop fighting to defend the only innocent citizen of a hellish city. These were the antiheroic centers of Robert Rodriguez’s marvelous 2005 adaptation of Frank Miller’s grim, gritty, blood-spattered comic book miniseries “Sin City.”

Although somewhat forgotten in the superhero-obsessed fandom of the last nine years, the movie was a small hit during its initial run, due in no small part to it’s dark-yet-playful tone and it’s inclusion of one of the greatest ensemble casts in comic book movie history, including an unforgettable appearance by Elijah Wood. There’s no being coy, it’s an awesome movie.

The sequel/prequel/midquel/whateverquel, which snuck into theaters this past weekend amidst surprisingly little fanfare, is something of a disappointment, and not just in terms of it’s box office draw. In fact, it’s somewhat difficult to understand whom the film is directed at.

It would seem, from the lack of advertising and the inclusion of most of the major cast, that the idea is to attract fans of the original. This ignores (as any poor sequel does) that the first film gave each of it’s three stories a proper finale (often ending with the hero dying).

This does not mean a sequel is out of the question, of course. Given that “Sin City” is an anthology, it makes perfect sense to make a new film detailing new characters and new adventures in the setting and style of Frank Miller’s gloriously awful metropolis.

Instead, we are reintroduced to most of the same characters from the original, albeit at different points in time from the original stories and not necessarily played by the same actors. (One character muses at the beginning that without his meds, he “gets things mixed up.” One can relate.) Among them is Josh Brolin as Dwight, in a role that was once played (with considerably more charm) by Clive Owen.

Dwight is a lovesick man who is put in a compromising position by an ex-lover; the femme fatale, and titular (in more ways than one), Dame (Eva Green), making sure the film is not without every noire clich

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