Film Review: More Risqué ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ Doesn’t Dare to Trailblaze Again

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CHICAGO – Sex sells, sure, but the film-noir sequel “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” makes you feel dirty if you’re left thinking that’s enough. Nine years since the visually groundbreaking, avant-garde hit “Sin City,” Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s biggest mistake with their next incarnation is replacing the first film’s bloodthirsty impact with too much nudity. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The film is equally violent as it is naked, but we’ve almost become numb to such mutilation and it’s certainly part of this story. These talented filmmakers insult audiences by thinking Eva Green’s rabid libido and willingness to bare it all can outshine the film’s need to be otherwise compelling. She’ll satisfy the horny little boy or girl in you, but leave the mature man or woman in you really are intellectually unsatisfied.

In film and television, Green has clearly made a decision she can’t go back from. On screen, she’s a sexual deviant and obviously wants to be. Even more, she’s violent. From her unforgettable bedroom scene in 2014’s “300: Rise of an Empire” to random street sex in Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” viewers have come to expect nothing less from her. The stigma becomes boring and predictable.

Rather, someone like Scarlett Johansson – who is also clearly known as an arousing Hollywood provocateur – at least dares to act with her mind and without her body. She’s in a recent film like “Her” only using her voice, you never see her and she’s actually even a “good girl.” With films like “Grindhouse,” “Planet Terror” and “Machete Kills” under his belt, co-director Robert Rodriguez makes no secret about enjoying to cast beautiful women and having them do very, very bad things.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.

If this was a complement to the film, it could be enjoyable and fun. But when the film leans too heavily on it, it’s distracting and too obvious what’s being done. How uncomfortable “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is when Eva Green is pretty much never clothed whereas every other woman is (albeit still in skimpy attire). Jessica Alba plays an erotic dancer, but she’s always clothed. Rosario Dawson and Jamie Chung are sexy and fun, but again, still somewhat covered up.

Now where “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” gets interesting is in its huge roster of “A”-list supporting actors and the memorable characters some of them portray. While the role of Manute went to Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile”) in 2005, the surprising choice of Dennis Haysbert – yes, the Allstate guy! – seriously pays off this time around. This straight-faced Manute feels big, badass and unbeatable in his ability to be Ava’s (Eva Green) brute-force protector. He’s spot on.

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” which opened on Aug. 22, 2014 and has a running time of 102 minutes, stars Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haybert, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Julie Garner, Lady Gaga and Christopher Lloyd. The film is written and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez based on Frank Miller’s graphic novels. The film is rated “R” for strong brutal stylized violence throughout, sexual content, nudity and brief drug use.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.

Jessica Alba in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.
Photo credit: Dimension Films

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”.

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