The trouble with being groundbreaking, to the extent that the 2005 “Sin City” was, is that it can’t be repeated. Back then, no one had ever seen ‘animated noir,’ with its fierce black & white bowery and computer- assisted color dabs bringing the extreme world of the graphic novel to the screen. Nearly a decade later, however, the idea isn’t as striking. This is not to say that “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is bad….In fact it’s pretty good if this maturing sub-genre, with its cartoonish ultra-violence is your cup of tea, or it doesn’t bother you.
The movie itself is comprised of four interleaved stories, two from the printed series by Frank Miller, who is credited as a co-director this time, and two written expressly for this project. Several plotlines and characters are continued from the ’05 film, including the wizened Marv, played by Mickey Rourke, Powers Boothe as the corrupt senator, and Detective Hartigan, killed last time, but back as his ghost, with Bruce Willis playing yet another dead guy. Stealing the show, especially for guys, is Eva Green, of “Casino Royale” and “The 300” fame, playing the scheming seductress Ava Lord. She writhes and slithers, frequently unclad, into really nailing her character.
While most of the film world seeks to avoid stereotypes, pictures like this thrive on them. Every character depicts an archetype of one of the component forces making up the vile, but somehow not that remote, universe of Sin City, and the A-listers showing up here have a field day bringing those archetypes to over-the-top life. If you enjoyed the first one, spend time with video games and/or graphic novels, you’ll want to catch “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.” Otherwise it won’t be a sin to skip it….