By W. E. Wertenberger
A sequel nine years in the making, the second Sin City installment seems to make no attempt to better itself. And that is a fine thing indeed. In a cinematic universe full of wisecracking Spidermen, insecure Scott Pilgrams, and adolescent Star Lords, it’s refreshing to see some unapologetic masculinity portrayed onscreen. Granted, it is in the hyper realized, exactingly recreated world of a Frank Miller comic. Where everything is black and white…except when it’s not.
As in the first film, we get a selection of stories loosely interwoven into one plotline. This one being even looser than the first. With Marv, played with that same confused focus Mickey Rourke seems a master of, the linchpin holding them together. Each rolls out as you would expect. This is straight forward storytelling, just point the good guy at the bad guy and let fly. And Millers knife edge dialogue is very well suited to Robert Rodriquez B movie sensibilities.
Production wise, we get a beautifully complete Noir fantasy land. Docks, slums, skyscrapers, mansions, all set to a dark and bleak background. Just the way I imagine Raymond Chandler would have liked. And the green screen reality may be even more impressive than the first time around. That may be because I was forced into seeing the 3D version, the theatre I saw it in had only one showing that wasn’t in that format. But, I will recommend you see it this way, despite the added four bucks on the ticket price. I believe it is perfectly suited for 3D and not once did it feel like a gimmick. Never has a poker game been so vividly portrayed. It may be my favorite scene in the movie.
Performances were solid throughout, with Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Powers Booth as stand outs. But the real show stealer is Eva Green. As the Dame to Kill For, she most definitely foots the bill. Playing the classic femme fatale, Green is so slinky in her manipulation of men, she seems to slither from scene to scene. And even when we know she is playing a con, it’s tough to blame the dumb saps for continually falling for her. Luminescent green eyes are hard to say no to.
Bottom line, if you liked the first you’ll like this one as well. Hell, I think I liked it just a bit better.