Sin City: A Dame To Kill For - Review

Mickey Rourke as 'Marv' in 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'.

Mickey Rourke as 'Marv' in 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'.

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Foyle Women’s Aid should stay well away from ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’.

Earlier this week, the local organisation, who work closely with women affected by domestic violence, criticised the decision to bring international rapper and DJ Snoop Dogg to Derry because they deemed his music misogynistic.

Eva Green as 'Ava' in 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'.

Eva Green as 'Ava' in 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For'.

The same judgement has been squarely laid at the door of ‘Sin City: Dame For A Kill’ directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez.

If Foyle Women’s Aid was offended by Snoop’s tunes then it’s safe to say they’ll feel the exact same way about this follow-up to the 2005 film ‘Sin City’.

Whilst I enjoyed ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’, for that I make no apology, it is, at times, blatantly misogynistic and its portrayal of women gives great insight into the social politics of Miller and Rodriguez.

‘A Dame To Kill For’ is broken down into five parts and some of the first movie’s most memorable characters make a return.

Marv (Mickey Rourke - ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Angel Heart’) is suffering from memory loss after he wakes up near the scene of a car crash and there are several dead bodies around him.

New arrival, Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt - ‘Inception’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) gets more than he bargains for when he goes head to head with Senator Roark (Powers Boothe - ‘Avengers Assemble) in a high stakes game of poker.

Dwight (Josh Brolin - ‘The Goonies’) attempts to put his violent past behind him; after saving the life of a prostitute (Juno Temple - ‘Killer Joe’) from an evil businessman (Ray Liotta - ‘Goodfellas’) he receives an unexpected phone call from his former lover Ava (Eva Green - ‘Casino Royale’) and sets out to save her.

Set four years after ‘That Yellow Bastard’, Nancy seeks out revenge on Senator Roark who caused Hartigan (Bruce Willis - ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Red’) to take his own life.

‘A Dame To Kill For’ lacks some of the panache and style of 2005’s ‘Sin City’ but it does manage to retain its ability to translate, what was originally a graphic novel, on to the big screen.

The attempts to shock and surprise are very similar to the first movie which makes it feel a little less gritty and whilst it is a decent movie it doesn’t push the visual bounds of cinema as much as the 2005 film.

It is a satisfactory follow up to what was a terrific first offering but why such a gap between the two films?

The first film, as already mentioned, was released in 2005 - that’s a whole nine years ago and many of the 18 year-olds who filed into cinemas then will be approaching 30 so I am baffled why Miller and Rodriguez haven’t released something sooner.

Josh Brolin is superb as erstwhile pugilist, Dwight and where Mickey Rourke brought a sense of gravitas to the first movie, Brolin does the exact same here.

Brolin is an actor who can be very hit and miss. He was terrific in the masterful Coen Brothers’ ‘No Country For Old Men’ but then he went and made the dung-fest that was ‘Jonah Hex’. Thankfully, ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ is amongst some of his best work.

Miller and Rodriguez are in no way apologetic for the movie’s cock-eyed sexual politics and it’s completely understandable why the content might turn some people off.

At times, the narrative verges on the wrong side of nasty and I lost count of how many times Eva Green’s ‘Ava’ appeared on screen with next to nothing on.

If 2005’s ‘Sin City’ was a well prepared first course then ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ is a very satisfying main.

Sticking with all things culinary. ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ will most certainly not enjoy, as of yet unexplained, same level of mass appeal in Derry; it’s more of a very specific fish dish that if prepared in the wrong hands could be disastrous.

‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl. For full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 02871 371 999.

VERDICT: 3/5 - It’s been nine years since ‘Sin City’ first arrived on the big screen but the sequel, ‘Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’ is just about worth the wait. It lacks some of the panache and style of 2005’s ‘Sin City’ but it does manage to retain its ability to translate, what was originally a graphic novel, on to the big screen. Josh Brolin is great as erstwhile alcoholic Dwight and Mickey Rourke makes a very welcome return as Marv. The politics and gender representation of this film are at the very least questionable but if you enjoyed the first one you’ll like this.