Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/22/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
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
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.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Mark Hamill said he was 'suspicious' of J.J. Abrams
Paul Blart returns to protect you from laughing
More talks in Nova Scotia film credit dispute
Mall Cop sequel thin on comedy, exhausts any goodwill from 2009 hit
Review: 'Unfriended' has interesting concept but still a dud
Star power can't sell story of killer and journalist
Florida's Against Me at Garrick Centre in July
Powerful Maori movie a map of sorts for First Nations filmmakers wanting to tell warrior stories
Teens staring at screens generate genuine screams
Disney's monkey tale takes a swing at society
Cdn.-born filmmaker Paul Almond dead at 83
New 'Star Wars' teaser, cast information revealed at event
'Most dangerous movie ever made' charges into theatres
Jia, Sorrentino, Van Sant in Cannes lineup; selfies a no-no
Denis Villeneuve thrilled with Cannes selection
Beijing Film Festival opens with aim to raise profile
New on DVD/VOD
New documentary eyes story of Latino extras in 1956 'Giant'
Review: Tom Hardy excels but 'Child 44' feels like 40 movies
Toronto film fest to feature TV content
Sarah Polley on 'Little Women,' other projects
Film furor outside Nova Scotia legislature
New Pacquiao film shows how poor boy grew up to be champion
Architecture film festival adds stories to foundation
Composer Philip Glass wins Glenn Gould Prize
Tribeca Preview: What to look for at this year's festival
Jake Epstein co-writes play with author-mom Kathy Kacer
Nova Scotia film sector pushes on tax credit
Pinto on 'Desert Dancer,' responsible roles and rape doc
5 tips for improving online privacy
Beijing hopes European film buff will raise festival profile
Director Michelle MacLaren exits 'Wonder Woman'
Minister firm in saying subsidy is too high
'Imitation Game' code breaker Turing's notes fetch over $1M
Author Sara Gruen on Nessie and her new novel
Females increasingly the focus of animated features