Comic Book Movie Review – Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Sin-City-A-Dame-to-Kill-For-teaser-posterDirected by Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller

Written by Frank Miller

Starring
Mickey Rourke as Marv
Jessica Alba as Nancy Callahan
Josh Brolin as Dwight McCarthy
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny
Eva Green as Ava LordRosario Dawson as Gail
Bruce Willis as John Hartigan
Powers Boothe as Senator Roark
Dennis Haysbert as Manute

If you read any type of entertainment news, you probably know that it was not a good opening weekend for the new Sin City movie. Bomb would be an accurate description of how the movie did.  I went to see a 3:00 showing on Saturday, and there were only 3 other people in the theater.  2 of those people were with me.  Amusingly, the other person used to work with one of the friends that saw it with me.  So, what happened? 

First off, critics did not like this movie nearly as much as the first one, 44% compared to 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I don’t understand this.  I don’t have the time to do a comparison between reviews for critics that saw both movies to see what they thought was different. I know that I like both, and didn’t really see a difference in quality with the acting, story, visuals, etc.  I will say that this movie is a little confusing when trying to put it in the timeline of the first movie.  So, I’ll take a moment to spell it out here.

Both movies contain 4 stories.  In the first movie, the stories in chronological order are “The Customer Is Always Right,” “That Yellow Bastard,” “The Hard Goodbye,” and “The Big Fat Kill.”  The second movie also contains 4 movies, but their place in the universe must be considered in relation to the first movie.  This is because there is only 1 new main character in the movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Johnny. Three of the stories contain Marv, who died at the end of “The Hard Goodbye.”  There’s also a story that contains pre-surgery Dwight, and Nancy dealing with the death of John Hartigan.  Here are the stories and where they fit.

“Just Another Saturday Night.”  This story features Marv chasing down a bunch of frat boys that were setting people on fire on the street.  It just needs to be placed somewhere before “The Hard Goodbye.”  I don’t think where exactly matters.

“The Long Bad Night.”  This story features Johnny, and his attempt to take on Senator Roark in a poker game.  This story coincides with the beginning of “Nancy’s Last Dance,” which I’ll talk about soon.

“A Dame to Kill For.”  This story features Dwight, the citizens of Oldtown, and introduces Ava Lord.  Ava uses her feminine “charm” to get men to do her bidding.  You can probably guess from the title that there’s some killing involved.  This story has to happen before “The Hard Goodbye” and “The Big Fat Kill” as actions in this story are what cause Dwight to get a new face, and Marv plays a decent sized role in the conclusion. 

“Nancy’s Last Dance.”  This story features Nancy, and her coping with the death of John Hartigan’s death.  It has to happen between “That Yellow Bastard” and “The Hard Goodbye.”

Maybe the odd sequence of the stories turned people off of this movie.  It does take some thinking about, as it doesn’t nicely fit into the simple definition of being either a sequel or a prequel.  Instead, it’s both.  That’s really unusual for a movie. 

It has also been 10 years since the first movie came out.  Maybe people just lost interest in having another Sin City movie.  The saying is that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  You could also say that absence makes one forget.

Whatever the reasons other people didn’t see this movie, I still went and enjoyed it.  If you liked the first movie, I suspect that you should like this one.  If you didn’t, I would like to hear your reasons.

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