The Big Screen: Tardy ‘Sin City’ electrifying but one-dimensional

kvz.vaughn@gmail.comAugust 29, 2014 

It’s been nearly ten years since the first “Sin City” was released, and it still remains one of the greatest graphic novel adaptations captured on film. If you haven’t seen it, go do that.

It was the first of its kind. A film shot almost entirely in front of a green screen in fantastic black-and-white with color used like a special effect. It’s a surprise that the film didn’t suffer “The Matrix Effect.” after that trilogy was released,“The Matrix”-style slow motion was used in exhausting measures, making the final two installments feel blasé before they were even released.

Luckily. “Sin City” never suffered the same fate, and the second film feels as fresh and innovative as it did a decade ago.

Robert Rodriguez takes on the script with the same fierceness as before, with color and drama and pulpy attitudes popping off the big screen. And a lot of the original cast is back – Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Jamie King.

There are also some great new personalities played by Ray Liotta, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and even Lady Gaga.

As in the first film, “A Dame to Kill For” is organized by a number of overlapping storylines, eachwith their own narrator. A lot of the film plays catch-up for those not privy to the story line (a bout of amnesia helps insert various flashbacks). Jessica Alba, not normally a fantastic actress, has found something in damaged stripper Nancy that allows her to ooze with angst. Eva Green, playing a dame to kill for, is the definition of sultry. She channels all the best broads that came before her and creates a femme fatale that could compete alongside the Barbara Stanwycks and Lana Turners.

For hard-core fans of the first film, this is a decent follow up. The problem is that Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller took too long to produce it. All of the flashbacks and catch-up are distracting from the new stories. Imagine “Kill Bill Vol. 2” being released a decade after the first movie – the momentum gets lost. But the electricity is still there, and even if there isn’t anything new here, it’s still impossible to take your eyes off of it.

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