'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' Review Roundup: Critics Mixed On Pulpy Noir Sequel
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, from co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, once again brings Miller’s graphic novels to the big screen.
A sequel to the visually stunning Sin City 2005, A Dame to Kill For blends two of Miller’s comic book stories with a pair of new tangential storylines. Once again, crime and violence anchor the plot for the movie’s cast of characters, which includes stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis), poker player Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the monstrous Marv (Mickey Rourke). Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Eva Green and Powers Boothe also star.
'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' Reviews
Critics are split on what to make of Rodriguz and Miller’s sequel, which comes nine years after their original critically acclaimed effort. The first film undeniably impressed with it’s unique look. The second time around, some feel as though the novelty is gone – and the stories dried up. Others believe that A Dame to Kill For improved upon the first, homing in on the facets of the film that made it so special.
“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For hit me like a knuckle sandwich from a guy who definitely wasn't working for the deli. […]Writing this stuff ain't easy, which is why you've got to hand it to Frank Miller, the comic-book artiste and auteur whose hard-boiled voice-overs in 2005's Sin City and now in its sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, let you know in the most Shakespearean way what's on a poor schmo's mind. […] "Why?" is the key question in A Dame to Kill For. Like, why sit through this pimply excuse for pulp fiction? Why not read the real boys (Goodis, Cain, Thompson), or see the real films (Forget it, Jake. It's not Chinatown)?” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
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"There are other occasional highlights, including a titanic fight between Marv and Ava's warrior chauffeur Manute, a role first played by the late Michael Clarke Duncan and now by Dennis Haysbert, and a final showdown involving the vile Roark. But the big problem here is the sameness of the material throughout, the one-note tone. Every scene is given the same weight — there's no modulation, no sense of drama beyond mannered posturing, a feeling that the whole enterprise is about capturing a retro look and attitude and nothing else." – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
“Some pop fiction exists in its own world. But once you find that particular planet dull, sitting till the end feels like being trapped in a funhouse. Which brings us to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The sequel to one of the most visually striking movies of the last 10 years continues the graphic novel-inspired landscape of its predecessor. But the characters don’t click, and the action feels dull.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
“Dark and dazzling, A Dame to Kill For has all the muscular perks and some of problems of the first, including some ham-fisted dialogue. Still, it's a more taut, more compelling, outing. A Dame To Kill For isn't likely to create converts out of those uninterested in the pulpy side of fiction. But it more than earns its keep in terms of lavishing love, mildly ironic as well as pretty damn earnest, on pumped-up noir.” – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
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