I loved Sin City (2005). I loved its amazing world, a grotesque fantasyland of noir; I loved its groundbreaking style, those indelible blacks and whites with bursts of primary colour that seemed to say so much in opposition; I loved its characters – especially Marv (Mickey Rourke), the granite-faced brute, but all of them, really, even the sick Yellow Bastard. Images from that film – which I’ve only seen once, on its’ initial cinema release – are as bright in my mind as ever. I was excited for the sequel.
Unfortunately – very unfortunately – A Dame To Kill For offers nothing new and feels terribly, sadly, redundant. We’re back in the amazing world, the style’s all still there, and its peopled with those characters – and that’s the problem. There’s no advance, no maturity, no gain. None of the new characters (of whom there are very few) are indelible, and the story lines for the original characters are simply not as good as the first batch that made up the first film.
If we were getting a Sin City instalment every year or two, it would be fine to treat these slight little tales as disposable as the comic books from which they spring, as diversions with comfortingly familiar qualities; by their abundance we could accept that, inherently, some episodes wouldn’t be as good as others (as we do with long-running television series). But we’ve waited ten years for this instalment, and for it to be so lacking in new ideas and vitality, so, so similar to the first, kind of beggars belief. This is all they could come up with?