It's taken nearly 10 years for filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and graphic novelist Frank Miller to get around to making this sequel, but it was worth the wait because the technical advancements make this second triptych of stories even more visually stunning, and the emotional resonance is even stronger. This is a lean, mean noir thriller that doesn't waste a single moment as it rips through three interlocking plots that centre on revenge for the events of the first movie.
Two people are out to get even with the ruthlessly nasty politician Roark (Powers Booth). Watched over by the hulking Marv (Mickey Rourke), gun-toting stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) is still heartbroken after Roark killed her beloved Hartigan (Bruce Willis), who appears to her as a ghostly apparition. And Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is determined to bring Roark down by humiliating him at his own high-stakes poker game, even though merely having uncanny good luck might not be enough. But the main story centres on private eye Dwight (Josh Brolin), who is stopped in his tracks when he encounters his old flame Ava (Eva Green), a bombshell who has power over most men she meets. She asks for help with a domestic problem, and Dwight is powerless to walk away even though he knows something is fishy.
As before, these stories unfold exactly as they would in a graphic novel, with blunt dialogue and strikingly visual imagery black and white that's spotted with flashes of colour. Aside from Ava's blue coat, that colour is usually red: hair, nails, lips, but not blood, which splashes in glaring white. It looks fantastic in (ahem) eye-popping 3D. And it's fiercely violent as death hovers around the residents of Basin City, especially the lawless Old Town district. But there's just as much emphasis on surging passion, including some surprisingly graphic sexuality that plays up how helpless men are around a scantily clad woman. Indeed, it's rare to see an action film in which the women are so resolutely in charge.
Continue reading: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Review