Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sin City sequel stylish, but too much sordid sex and violence beats viewers to a pulp

  • Print

Released back in 2005, the original Sin City was a nifty synthesis of movie and graphic novel from two specialists in their respective fields: artist Frank Miller and director Robert Rodriguez.

This sequel is too much of a good thing. If the first one was a fascinating noir fever dream, the sequel is a full-on case of delirium tremens, with a coherent narrative sacrificed to the bitch goddess of Miller's visual imagination.

The first film was a relatively straightforward translation of three of Miller's Sin City books. The sequel dares to weave a few narrative threads more intricately, but the effort feels sloppy, and some threads hang egregiously loose.

Mickey Rourke's noble brute Marv returns in the most logistically impossible story continuation, teaming up with Jessica Alba's stripper character Nancy for a vengeful reckoning with the all-powerful, all-corrupt Sen. Roark (Powers Boothe). (Bruce Willis returns here too, albeit briefly, as the ghost of Nancy's protector, Det. Hartigan.)

Rocking the glower, Josh Brolin takes over the role of hoodlum/gumshoe Dwight (played by Clive Owen in the first movie), enticed by an old flame, the seductive Ava (Eva Green) to intercede in her marriage to a perverse millionaire.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings his compact, upstart energy to bear as Johnny, a peppery gambler intent on beating the aforementioned Sen. Roark at the poker table, since he can't be beat anywhere else.

A couple of characters betray this movie's inspiration. Marv is the granite-carved killing machine who thinks with his fists: He's a kind of extreme version of pulp fiction's most violent hero, henchman-throttling P.I. Mike Hammer. And Green's Ava would seem to be vying for the title of the most fatale femme ever, a fiendishly conniving seductress with a penchant for frequent, eye-popping nudity. (In this department, Green, as adorably shameless as she was in 300: Rise of an Empire, seems to be compensating for Alba's nudity-resistant stripper.)

With a choice of noir geniuses to emulate -- say, Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett -- Miller and Rodriguez here declare their allegiance to Mickey Spillane, the dumbest, crudest practitioner of pulp fiction.

Rodriguez and Miller undoubtedly know how to manufacture some arresting images using green-screen technology and selective colouring within the film's black-and-white palette. Both Ava's and Sen. Roark's eyes literally glow with malevolence, and, as in the last film, the appalling violence is somewhat muted by the fact characters can bleed white.

Nevertheless, the sheer tawdriness of this sequel becomes off-putting. If the first film allowed for a naughty skinny-dip in Miller's fatalistic realm, the second has you soaking in it, leading to the panicky sensation you may never be clean again.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 D1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


150+ dead in France plane crash, cause unknown

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a

View More Gallery Photos


Has your opinion of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec changed given his latest winning streak?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google