Style heavy

Style heavy

Reel Reviews: Sin City 2 is more style over substance

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is like a hot date that turns out to be a mistake in the morning.

  • Aug. 29, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Marv (Mickey Rourke) wants to protect Nancy (Jessica Alba) from Sin City’s mean streets. Nancy wants to avenge the murder of her father figure Hartigan (Bruce Willis) by killing the dirty Senator Roark (Powers Booth.)

Dwight (Josh Brolin) just wants to get out of Sin City, but he can’t escape the clutches of money hungry Ava (Eva Green), who will do anything to get what she wants.

It’s just an ordinary night in the latest episode of noir comic book film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

We say, “It’s like a hot date that turns out to be a mistake in the morning.”

TAYLOR: I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Sin City, a film adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novels involving violent crime, sex and seediness. However, it was an extremely interesting film to look at (similar to the 300 movies, only more “cartoonish.”) I fear now that the novelty has worn off, but that’s not the only problem with A Dame to Kill For. This is a film that’s built solely from style and has very little recognizable substance.

I have many, many complaints, but I’ll leave some of them for Peter.

HOWE: I don’t agree with you that the novelty has worn off in how they are filmed and how they look. I loved the look of this film and 300. It’s just that when I watch them a second time, the story becomes disappointing and I feel tricked into liking something that wasn’t very good. One fault in the story I noticed involved time lines. We start off with one storyline, slip into another storyline that lasts two days, then slip back into the first storyline that is meant to be the original day. Confused? I was too.

TAYLOR: I think it was a boring script and proofreaders were unable to find errors, because they too were lost. Anytime you have narration in a film (sorry to bring this up again), it’s weak. In this film the narration is a ridiculously redundant, literal play by play, created solely to give the poetic grittiness a film noir deserves.

Thus, the film is self-indulgent.

I also disliked how all the main characters are weakly motivated. It’s like we’ve come to Sin City on bowling night. The stripper Nancy is drunk and daydreams about revenge she’s not going to get. Thug Marv doesn’t have a “job” and “really wishes he had some skulls to bust.” Dwight’s entire makeup is wishy washy. He wants to get out of town, knows that he has a hard time saying no to Ava, yet can’t stay away from her. And Ava, well, Ava’s just naked the whole time. She has only one weapon.

HOWE: And why is every main guy in the movie doing Dark Knight impressions? It’s not like it’s just one or two of them, it’s all five. It seemed like a private joke between them all, to see who could do the best. Terrible.

TAYLOR: This is a film that’s supposed to be titillating in its cliches, exciting in its exploitation and interesting in its execution. It fails quite miserably on all fronts, with the possible exception of style. Style can take you far, but it’s empty without substance.

– Howe gives Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 2 gold marbles out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 2 busted fingers out of 5.

The film is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column Reel Reviews appears in The Morning Star Fridays and Sundays.