SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR murders itself with a dead-on-arrival script and an overdose of sadistic foul play. The 102 minutes gasp to expire, numbed by an onslaught of repetitive meanness. There’s ferocious style to spare, it sports a killer cast, has sexpots to die for and lets the great Powers Boothe go out with a badass bang. But soul is missing in action, humor needs a transfusion and both critics and public bumped if off as a punk sent to do a man’s job.
Arriving in 2014, nine years after its Bad Dad (simply Sin City), again written by Frank Miller, co-directing with Robert Rodriguez, who shot it, edited and provided the score (with Carl Thiel). As with the first one, it deals dealt aces with the look. Several key cast members return: Boothe, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Stacy Keach. New blood to bleed: Eva Greene, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie Chung, Lady Gaga.
“I knew I could count on you. Sex always made you stupid, ready to believe anything.”
The cast give it their all, but the lazy script substitutes paunch for punch. Alba writhes for maximum thrust (this alone enough for a salivating chunk of the audience), Greene eats her femme fatale gig like a hungry tigress (green eyes highlighted, and much else), Boothe glitters with malevolence, Liotta Ray-raves, Meloni dead-pans and gets the larger share of the few laughs.
A bomb at the box-office, a dismal 132nd in the U.S. grossing just $39,400,000 total worldwide against a cost of $65,000,000. Plans for a sequel perished. Fans of the original will enjoy the cool stuff, and lament that’s all there is.
To the cast swarm add Jude Ciccolella, Martin Tsokas and Juno Temple.