SIN CITY 2 | 3D BLU RAY REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

We are revisiting Kernel John’s review of SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR because the fabbo folks from Icon Movies have sent us 3X copies on 3D BLU RAY!! This is an epic and expensive Blu Ray score. I’ll fight you for them 🙂 Enjoy Kernel John’s review again or for the first time and find out how to win yourself some Alba, Green, Rourke, Gordon-Levitt, Gaga and Brolin. All the best………JK

ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM SEPT 16, 2014.

The visually confronting film from 2005, SIN CITY, is back with more comic styled visuals. I loved the first film – I am all about the visuals but not everyone is and the film had mixed reviews. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez offer you their follow up – SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR and Kernel John attended the media screening and shares his thoughts below. SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR releases this Thursday 18th September at most multiplexes care of Icon Film Distribution. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 102mins. Enjoy John’s review……..all the best………JK. 

 

SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR MARV POSTER IMAGE
SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MARV (MICKEY ROURKE) POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JOHN MCPARLAND

Artist Frank Miller has drawn some true gems in his day. His graphic novel Sin City was the basis for a 2005 film of the same name. Two years later, he wowed the world once again with the movie adaptation of his comic, 300. I loved both of those films. The stylistic narrative and special effects alone were amazing. I had not previously seen that form of production, where you literally feel as if you are watching a comic book come to life. So many movies are based on cartoon heroes, but you always knew that you were watching a film. Never before had I truly felt immersed in the storybook vision of the tale; that is of course until I saw SIN CITY and 300.

With those high hopes, I stormed into the cinema earlier this year to revel in the glory of 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, and was promptly disappointed. For me, that film ramped up all the fluff of 300, while removing all of the pertinent elements at the same time. There was even more blood and gore, even more gratuitous nudity and sex, and even more widespread chaos and destruction, while simultaneously there was even less dialogue, even less plot, and even less acting than the original. If you wanted bloodthirsty titillation over engaging storytelling and character development, then this film was perfect for you. I expected more though, and so was very underwhelmed.

 

SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR AVA MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | AVA (EVA GREEN) POSTER – THE CENSORED POSTER

 

Sadly, SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is to SIN CITY as 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE was to 300: all the bark of its trailblazing predecessor, with none of the bite. Director Robert Rodriguez returns to direct this second instalment. Many of the original cast also return including Mickey Rourke’s (IRON MAN 2) Marv, Jessica Alba’s (VALENTINE’S DAY) Nancy Callahan, Powers Boothe’s (THE AVENGERS) Senator Roark, and Bruce Willis’s (DIE HARD) John Hartigan. Joining the ensemble cast is Josh Brolin (GANGSTER SQUAD) as Dwight McCarthy, Eva Green (CASINO ROYALE) as Ava Lord, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (LOOPER) as Johnny, among others. An appearance by Lady Gaga in a brief role toward the end of Jonny’s tale had my surrounding cinema goers exclaim in mild surprise.

The film primarily deals with Lord, the titular dame that everyone goes out of their way to kill for. Even Christopher Meloni’s (LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT television series) character Mort is drawn in and corrupted by Lord’s sexually manipulative wiles. Benson would be so ashamed… Lord convinces her former lover McCarthy that her husband Damian is going to kill her. Initially suspicious of Lord’s story and wary of her seductive ways, McCarthy eventually decides to investigate the situation. Convinced that Lord is truly in danger, McCarthy and Marv storm Damian’s compound, only to find out all too late that nothing is as it seems. Fleeing for his life before the authorities arrive, McCarthy swears vengeance on those who would dare use him to further their own interest

 

SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR JOHNNY MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOHNNY (JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT) MOVIE POSTER

 

As with the original, this film also runs within it multiple stories that have little direct connectedness with each other. Aside from the main Lord arc, a now alcoholic Callahan seeks vengeance on Roark for Hartigan’s death and her own trauma at the Senator’s hands; while brash gambler Johnny tries his luck in a deadly game of poker against Roark. Of the three main tales, Johnny’s was the most intriguing for me. It had the most engrossing back-story and entertainment value. A morally decent character in a dirty situation, Johnny’s voyage through danger and corruption most perfectly embraced the classic SIN CITY darkness and film noir vibe, though his story’s ending seemed disappointing and ultimately pointless. In contrast, Lord’s tale just seemed to drag on and on; even copious amounts of nudity and sex did little to arouse my waning interest (no pun intended). Also, I found Callahan’s journey of revenge to be listless and bland; a poorly executed attempt at an overdone concept. On the upside, fans of the original will be pleased to know that the girls of Old Town return, and feature in a supporting role to the primary Lord plot.

The acting on the whole was relatively average. Green seems to maintain the same expression throughout the film; her scared face, angry face, victory face, and orgasm face are so frightfully similar that I struggled to comprehend which emotion she was trying to portray. Alba stares drunkenly down the camera for the majority of her scenes in a bored and wooden manner, firmly keeping her clothes on despite the copious amounts of nudity elsewhere in the film, which was odd, considering she portrays a stripper. Brolin and Rourke have some entertaining action scenes, but this is mostly thanks to the film’s CGI as opposed to any above average acting. Gordon-Levitt was the standout for me, his moments of pain and suffering were wonderfully portrayed, and I was genuinely saddened at the way his tale was concluded.

 

SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR NANCY MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | NANCY (JESSICA ALBA) MOVIE POSTER

 

The stories themselves were relatively uninspiring. Gone were the hard-hitting, involved, imaginative, and character driven plotlines of the original. In its place are wearisome tales with little substance that failed to keep my interest. For the sequel of such a groundbreaking film, I expected more than what I got, but it all just felt like so much of the same old hat. It also did not help that, as I was to discover in my later research, this film chronologically takes place during the events of the original; sometime before Marv is executed, but sometime after Hartigan commits suicide. Unfortunately, SIN CITY unfolds in the order mentioned above, meaning that one has to rearrange the first film to fully understand the location of the second, which is just a whole bucket of confusing.

The special effects and production are really what carry this movie. Like the original, Rodriguez fully embraces Miller’s film noir style. The plays on shadow, the shifting of focus, and the competing use of light and darkness to form stark contrasts are all brilliantly done. The injection of colour in key objects, lips, hair, eyes, and occasionally blood, all add to draw the viewer deeper into the decrepit world of Sin City.

Sadly though, it is not enough to redeem this ultimately dull film. Average acting, average storyline, and the slow plodding of events all combine to drag this film down into mediocrity. Like 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR attempts to emulate a film of greater calibre, yet fails to deliver. Leather clad hookers, intensely brutal killings, copious cleavage, and nudity galore, yet still I struggled to pay attention.

 

2 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to Icon Movies to win one the 3X 3D BLU RAYs of SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite film noir movie and why? I have to admit to not seeing many, but my choices would be either CHINATOWN or BLADE RUNNER. Looking forward to your answers on this to get me some to see :).

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent after MAR 15th! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.