Sin City: A Dame to Kill For movie review

Film noir is back in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.  They didn’t forget the gratuitous violence, striking images or that whole ‘this is in color, this is in black and white’ stylization thing they do, either.  If you’re up for this kinda ride, join me after the jump!

Sure, A Dame to Kill For wasn’t as well received as the first Sin City (43% on Rotten Tomatoes), but that’s usually how it goes with sequels.  The movie isn’t weak for lack of trying; the comic book look is even more so this second time around, they jacked the violence up to 11 (as well as the nudity), the movie has a strong cast, intense style and fast pace… but some of the stories just aren’t up to par.

Like the first one, A Dame to Kill For is another trip down anthology lane:

“Just Another Saturday Night” is just funny. The best thing about Sin City is watching Marv (Mickey Rourke) bust heads, talk, stand completely still doing nothing at all… he’s a bad ass.  Everything he does is awesome.  It just works.  “The Long Bad Night,” which is broken into two parts, is a strong but not especially satisfying story.  This role confirms to me that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the sort of actor I’m going to watch for the next 30 or so years just because his name is on a poster.  The signature story, “A Dame to Kill For,” is interesting, controversial and stars Josh Brolin with Mickey Rourke in a supporting role, so this should be the greatest Sin City story ever, but it can’t compete with the best parts of the first flick.  Finally, “Nancy’s Last Dance” is a continuation of “That Yellow Bastard” from the first flick. It’s interesting…  Nancy is kinda Jessica Alba’s signature role.  (It sure as hell isn’t Sue Storm.)  I guess it takes all kinds – after all, Paul Walker will always be remembered as the Fast and Furious guy.

While it may be true that “The Hard Goodbye,” “The Big Fat Kill” and “That Yellow Bastard” from the first movie are all better stories than anything we see here, there’s nothing useless in A Dame to Kill For like “The Customer is Always Right.”  So, the sequel does have that going for it.

Question:  are these movies sexist?  I thought I knew what sexism was, but now that I’m trying to answer the question… I am totally confusing myself.

Critical Theory is not my strong suit… the female characters are all strong women… so it’s not sexist?  Ava Lorda plays Eva Green, a character who is very “use what she got to get whatever she don’t got,” if you know what I mean.  She has her own agenda and isn’t afraid to use sex as a weapon to get what she wants… that’s fine?  Right?  Meanwhile, Nancy (Jessica Alba) was never really weak; it’s more like Hartigan’s death (and time) have erased the good person from the first movie.  And the Old Town girls dress sexy… so what?  They are clearly in charge, so they must choose to dress that way for some reason?  It sure is distracting!  I wouldn’t want to fight someone who had that sort of tactical advantage.  But… I don’t know.  I think there’s something about a being a mid thirty year old man watching this movie by one’s self while their fiancée is out-of-town…  I love the way Jamie Chung plays Miho – it’s as if killing the bad guys bores her; it’s so easy it’s almost a waste of time.  If you’re a bad guy and you cross Old Town, it’s only a matter of time before Miho hits you in the face with a throwing star… if you’re lucky.

Meanwhile, Bruce Willis was useless – I get why they put him in this movie (because he’s Bruce Willis and he was in the first one), but man, what a waste of time.

Oh, and about the title: while it is not strictly wrong to end a sentence with a preposition, it’s just kinda bad form.  I try not to do it, but I don’t freak out about it.

If you liked the first one, you should definitely check this flick out.  It might not have the drama and story impact as the first Sin City installment, but A Dame to Kill For makes up for it with sheer force of will.  It’s fair to say it’s not as good as the first one, but I’ll take this in place of no more Sin City.  Let’s call it a 8 out of 10 and say it’s for genre fans only.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on February 11, 2015, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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