Early Reviews For SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

August 21, 20140 Comments

Some early reviews have been coming in from UK critics for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Is it worth the 9 year wait? Here’s what the critics are saying…

Digital Spy – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn’t the resounding triumph we craved, with its huge reliance on visual impact causing it to pale in comparison to its game-changing predecessor. But there are enough interesting moments shared with the intriguing characters of this nightmarish world to be glad that this sequel was finally made. It still leaves us wanting to explore deeper and further into the dark recesses of the city and its squalid inhabitants, but with a follow-up that comes armed with a clever structure, stronger ideas, properly integrated 3D and doesn’t take almost a decade to arrive. Here’s hoping. [***]

HeyUGuys – In spite of the misgivings that exist, the length of time between these two pictures allows Miller and Rodriguez to play on the notion of nostalgia, and not deviate too far away from Sin City’s unique selling point, as a film that is similar in tone and execution to what came before, surely doing enough to appease the pre-established fans that exist, while still managing to allure those unenlightened by this universe. Sin City is by no means a place you’d wish to book a family holiday, but 102 minutes immersed in this melancholic world does just the trick. [***]

The Shiznit – Nine years after the pages turned on Robert Rodriguez’s first Sin City movie, and with at least three major parts recast, you can’t help but think this Dame To Kill For is sashaying into town long after everyone has lost interest. Showing no signs of added maturity – if anything it’s even more juvenile – this slick-yet-soulless sequel features the required quota of girls, guns and garrotting, but it’s unlikely to win over those who were unimpressed by the same stiff sideshow almost a decade ago. [**]

The Telegraph – If Sin City 2 has, for the most part, mustered a better cast than it deserves, at least they haul the material up to their level. The film’s greatest assets are Gordon-Levitt and Green, who remains as coolly aloof as a circling eagle, despite spending much of the film naked in a variety of provocative poses…at least Sin City 2 has the courage to play its perversions dead straight, unlike Rodriguez’s recent Machete films, which smirked their way into oblivion. Sin City 2 glowers and sulks and is determined to show you the best bad time you’ve had in years. It’s neither high art nor noir, but it’s what a Sin City film should be. [***]

Virgin Media – At least six years too late, the novelty of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For’s stylistic approach has long worn off, and it hasn’t got enough in reserve to make up for that. Its sexed-up violence gets duller with every kill, it has nothing of any use to say and nothing of any interest to add to the first film. Briefly amusing and only very occasionally fun to watch, it’s a largely unpleasant experience that wasn’t worth the wait. A third instalment would be an even bigger sin. [**]

Empire Of course, hewing so closely to the feel of the original means that its inherent problems still exist: even Ava Lord’s slinky power and the weapon-hefting ladies of Old Town (led once more by Rosario Dawson’s Gail) can’t banish the idea that women get treated terribly in this world, and the men don’t come out looking much better. The stylish noir treatment lends a surreal aspect that helps mitigate a lot of that, but the issues remain. Some of the dialogue slides from hard-boiled noir narration to sounding like the feverish dream of a teenager working himself into a Chandler-fuelled frenzy, and not all of the performances fit as well as you might expect. A Dame To Kill For shares some of the downsides of the first, particularly dubious female characterisation. But this retains the gritty, gruelling vice-grip on graphic-novel noir that made Sin City so enjoyable. [***]

Total Film – True, the new 3D adds little and the stories are still about as deep as a shallow grave. But between its coal-black humour and the immersive b/w visuals, bringing Miller’s lurid world vividly to life (with some wonderful splashes of colour – notably Green’s eyes), there’s enough here for fans of the first to get their rocks off. Add in fine support from newcomers like Dennis Haysbert, Jeremy Piven and Ray Liotta, and this is one summer sequel to kill for. Not as groundbreaking as the original, nor as expansive as all the best sequels are. But with some excellent cast additions, and Miller on murky form, this still sizzles to the touch. [****]

Since I own all the comics and enjoyed the first film, I know I’ll be seeing it opening weekend. I hope it’s good and that a third entry doesn’t take another decade. Do you plan on seeing it?

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For weaves together two of Frank Miller’s classic stories with new tales in which the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more repulsive inhabitants. In Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Dwight is hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord, and then watches his life go straight to hell. Chronologically, this story takes place prior to “The Big Fat Kill” and explains how Dwight came to have a dramatically different face.

Starring Mickey Rourke as Marv, Jessica Alba as Nancy, Bruce Willis as Hartigan, Rosario Dawson as Gail and Jaime King as Goldie/Wendy. New cast members include Eva Green as Ava Lord, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny, Dennis Haysbert as Manute, Christopher Meloni as Mort, Jeremy Piven as Bob, Stacy Keach as Wallenquist, Jamie Chung as Miho, Ray Liotta as Joey, Juno Temple as Sally, Julia Garner as Marcy, and Josh Brolin as Dwight.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For hits theaters on August 22nd, 2014.

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