The Top Five Reasons Why “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” Is Good And You Should Watch It
People, I just got news that the new Sin City movie flopped at the box office. My jaw dropped when I heard this. This is morally wrong on every level, and it has to stop. You must see this movie immediately, or you should be ashamed to call yourself an American. The first five seconds will move you to tears, the next two hours will change your life. You will have a different driver’s license after you see this movie. Once you watch this movie, you will reconsider ever leaving the theater again. You might just try to sit there for days and days. We dare you to not fight the ushers, so that you can try to sleep in the theater, after you have seen this movie. This columnist can explain to you why you should see this movie in five simple words, added to a much longer string of words:
1. It is exactly like the first one in every way except the ones that would have been bad.
Remember how Sin City one was perfect, and they did it exactly right? And then they did 300, and it was the same thing? And then they bs’d 300 two and no one even cared and ate it up anyway? Okay, this is that again, a panel-perfect unsullied translation of the original story. What are you, tired of Frank Miller movies now? This is at worst the last two hours of an eight hour series of Frank Miller films, which if this were a tv series would make this the season finale, and you’re missing it! And it’s really good! Also, by being good in every way except the ones that would have been bad I mean the story is not exactly the same as the first one, though I don’t guess I need to explain this to you, because movies being made this way never happens.
2. The action and sex in this movie are insane.
So insane, that if you are insane before you see this movie you will by watching it become cured of insanity in a scientific event that cannot be explained without energy fields and power crystals. First of all, half the people in this movie kill each other with arrows. "Why use more-expensive arrows instead of regular bullets, what’s wrong with these people?!", you ask yourself as you see this. Whoah whoah, just calm down, try to control your breathing. You can’t. It’s too exciting. Remember how Michael Clark Duncan was in the last movie? You thought nothing could be more exciting than Michael Clark Duncan, right? Well you were wrong because to play the character this time they got the guy from the Allstate commercials so now what do you think Allstate’s stand is??!??!?!?!? Also as this movie is partially a prequel, in the action we see him lose his eye and have it replaced with a golden orb, something that becomes the most life exploding thing you have ever seen as you realize as you watch it that it’s because that’s Allstate’s stand. As in the first film, here again most of the characters bleed milk, something which will make you love your life as you watch it and think “So that’s where the milk went!”. Have you ever wanted to watch Ray Liotta have sex with a naked prostitute who’s wearing handcuffs? Okay, check, bring your “watching Ray Liotta having sex with a naked prostitute who’s wearing handcuffs” goggles, because this movie has that. This film also introduces actress Eva Green to the world of Sin City who you’ll remember from “300: Rise of An Empire” appearing here in a much juicier role, juicy with much, much nudity.
3. The stories are possibly even better than the stories in the first film.
The centerpiece of the first film was a fairly straightforward though poignantly bittersweet tainted revenge epic, where a lone grizzled hero struggles valiantly to fight an entire corrupt city government on his own. Kind of a Sisyphean account, you know, like you always figured the boulder scene from Indiana Jones should have been if the main character had made any sense. The story, though entertaining, was simple, progressing logically through a series of fights. In “A Dame To Kill For”, outcomes are not as predictable, and we’re instead offered a series of twists and turns that do more justice to the school of noire cinema to which Sin City’s visual style nods its’ head, a gritty, murderous nod where the head pivots down way, way too fast and the chin slams into the sternum making a little crater, towards a corner so dark and primeval no human life could exist in it, a corner that as you explore it you realize contains not light at all but… A HUMAN HEAD! Where the first Sin City fascinated, this one tries to surprise you. It’s sort of like the difference between a pig with curly hair and a barrel of tea with a monkey hiding in it. The movie also introduces Joseph Gordon Levitt and Christopher Meloni in story arcs that are so good in the way story arcs are, so let us say pleasantly curved, that I’m sure you’ll simply surrender in trembling pleasure. “Magic of the movies, whisk me away!” you’ll say as you do this. That will then happen.
4. This film has strong female characters.
This isn’t your stereotypical Hollywood action movie where a woman rips open her shirt at the first sign of a machine gun toting sociopath. In “A Dame to Kill For”, the women are assertive. They get naked before the guy ever shows up, and they stay that way. It’s not up to whatever dude to decide whether a woman is naked or not, the women of Sin City just stand around naked for however long they want. Remember in the first Sin City, when a man got shot in the penis and you could see the blood that you knew was pieces of penis? Well in this one you can see a naked woman. Equality. The women of this film also don’t allow themselves to be held to artificial beauty standards. In one scene, Jessica Alba’s character smashes a mirror and starts cutting her face all to pieces like you wish your girlfriend would. In the fantasy world of Sin City where all things are permissible, we finally see this brought to life. She carves into that thing like a bar of Irish Spring. Also kiss the days of women not dressing like Mexican wrestlers goodbye because in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” they so do. They dress like Zorro, too. Mexico is fully in the house in this movie, as far as women are concerned. I should mention that this film actually has a somewhat disturbing misogynistic streak, and depicts one of the heroes committing violence against a woman. The plot condones this act because she’s meant as a morally contemptible killer, but it’s still a troubling thing to show. Nonetheless it’s part of the original story so they left it in to be thought of in whatever way it was intended and for whatever reason, which brings me to my final point.
5. The moviemakers didn’t screw up the material like they do with most comic book movies.
Admittedly the comic book of Sin City had an intentionally limited run so the people behind the movie didn’t have to condense a lot of stories into one or pick and choose important story events, but the people who made those other movies could have done what the makers of Sin City have done which is used one strong story and filmed it instead of gluing together a bunch of mismatched limbs and ridiculous invented appendages into the grotesque homonculous of a story these things sometimes end up as. Remember in The Amazing Spider Man 2 where Dr. Kafka is a dude, and the Green Goblin has friggin’ leprosy or something? Yeah, neither of those things happen in the comic, and they totally don’t make the story better. They use the whole stories here as they were written, and like I said before, they’re good. Also as the most pitiable art school sneak-by I can only admit this in a gesture of shameful defeat but Frank Miller uses perspective so well that the established sense of distance is as powerful as that which creates the chemistry between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in the 90’s email based romance “you’ve got mail” which I romantically loved. He practically slices bread with it. The reanimating of the visual tableaus he creates is as rewarding as the failure to recreate the appeal of a comic book has in other cases been frustrating, such as in the instance of the decision to dress Daredevil in the Daredevil movie up like a biker to have us feel like Daredevil considered himself some kind of bikeless, eyeball-less biker, I guess because the existence of the ghost rider character made the costume designer decide all marvel characters who used monster imagery did so because of wanting to be bikers.
I say all this because in all seriousness “A Dame To Kill For” is not only of such a quality that it’s worth not ignoring, it’s actually remarkably good. You might never see another action movie as articulately lavish. Everything about the image, the direction of the blood spray, the trajectory of colliding vehicles, the contortions of the bodies, is planned and intended. You seldom see a movie where the creators meant as much for you to see it exactly the way it is shown with this much money spent on it. The attention to making a high quality film is visibly painstaking, and the result is frankly worth your time. If you would skip this movie exclusively for all the other movies out there I think you want to eat ketchup with a fork and knife. Not seeing this movie is like not seeing. Seeing this movie is literally one of the good reasons you can have to want to be a sighted person. If you hate on this movie, buy a gun, buy a badge, and then sleep with them under your pillow and have a good cry because you have to turn them in in the morning, because you’re fired.