Nine years ago, Robert Rodriguez, with the help of famed comic icon Frank Miller, brought Miller’s Sin City to life on the big screen. Emulating the dark chiaroscuro lighting of the comic (and of the film noirs that inspired it) and mainly shot in front of a green screen, I found Sin City to be absolutely enthralling. It looked gorgeous. I was a senior in high school at this point, but never have I felt the impact of a Hollywood action movie, donning a pair of soccer cleats, dropkick me in the face as hard as Sin City did. I didn’t expect to see a film that opens with a man getting his entire hand blown off, much less his genitals. From that point on I was sold. After seeing the movie I immediately bought all the comics, a poster for my bedroom and some of the figures that came out for the movie. I was the ultimate fanboy, eagerly awaiting the sequel. With such a smash success, how could they not follow it up?
A year went by with nothing. Then two years went by with nothing. Every now and then there would be scattered news reports about its progress, but it ultimately resulted in a whole lot of nothing. Fast forward to NINE YEARS LATER and Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For has finally made its way into theaters. The only problem is that it’s nine years too late.
Think about it. A lot has happened since Sin City made its stylistically violent premiere in 2005. The industry started using green screens more often. We have films like Zack Snyder’s 300 and Watchmen, as well as Frank Miller’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Will Eisner’s infamous newspaper crime fighter, The Spirit. These films didn’t use green screen effects as a cheap way to suggest that they were taking place in another time and era, they were specifically used as a stylistic choice. A choice that gave these films character. Love or hate them, as far as comic book adaptations go, these films looked really good in a vintage, glossy kind of way. The style worked in their favor. And, as what tends to happen in Hollywood, monkey see, monkey do. More and more films tried to replicate this look. We have more Zack Snyder films, like Sucker Punch and Man of Steel and the clone wars don’t end there. Remember that French movie Renaissance? Clash of the Titans? Wrath of the Titans? Immortals? The list goes on.
At a certain point a little fatigue sets in, but can that really doom a movie? Of course not, there are plenty of other facets that can make a film shine in a sea of murk. It’s just that Sin City 2 fails in every way imaginable, and that’s what makes it the ungodly piece of shit that it is. Honestly, this felt like some teenager wrote a fan fiction on the message board for a Sin City fan site, and then a first time director, hot off the success of his first project he completed freshman year in film school, adapted it into a motion picture (this director is now in his sophomore year of film school, mind you). The dialogue is a garbled piece of unfiltered trash and yes, we get it. Everyone is scum. Everyone is hardened. Life sucks. Blah blah blah. No one has any reason to live anymore, except they do. Wait, what? The dialogue seems to be made up of all the bits and scraps that were found on the cutting room floor that didn’t make it into the first movie.
The music cues are atrocious, and come in at times that don’t make me reminisce back to the old days of film noir, but instead make me think of how unintentionally self-parodying it is. The film is characteristically violent, but after seeing films like The Raid: Redemption, its sequel The Raid 2 and Dredd, this just falls flat to the point where it’s yawn-inducing. One of the hooks of the first film was opening it up with a man having his dick blown to smithereens, a shocking act of violence that served more as a warning; Prepare yourself, this is going to be a grisly ride. I’m glad they didn’t repeat the original opening, but c’mon, give me something to work with here. Violence, as well as sex, is a staple for Sin City. And speaking of sex, the first film did so well at not showing gratuitous amounts of nudity. With a title like Sin City, it would be easy to resort to that territory, yet they refrained from doing so. Here, the nudity is rampant, as Eva Green is basically naked throughout the entire film. Never in my life would I have thought titties and beheadings could be so boring. Oh yeah, Bruce Willis returns as Hartigan, but it’s fucking stupid.
Sin City 2 is a worthless, lazy pile of shit. Out of association it even makes me hate the first one in a way for letting something this awful exist. It’s like seeing a childhood friend you haven’t seen in a long time, only to find out that s/he now peddles drugs to little children. If you feel that you HAVE to see this movie, then wait for it to come to streaming. Or steal it. See it in any way possible that will help prevent a third one from being made. Actually, you know what would be a better idea than making a third Sin City movie? Create a series of animated shorts, like The Animatrix or Batman: Gotham Knight. That could be really cool. Just anything but a third movie.