Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For comes 9 years after the release of the first movie, and I can’t pretend that I know a great deal about the Frank Miller stories… in fact, about zero is my sum knowledge, so I review these films on the basis of how they work as films.
Marv (Mickey Rourke) wakes up from a car crash after blacking out which is partly due to a medical condition. The fact he’s been thrown out the windscreen doesn’t help him, either. Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wins a stack of cash at poker against Roark and spends a load of it on a big night out with waitress Marcie (Julia Garner).
Dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) wants to kill Roark after the events of the first film – in fact, no-one has a good word to say about the Senator, so I should speak up for Powers Boothe in the fact that he’s one of the best movie baddies you’ll ever see. Elsewhere, Sally (the stunning Juno Temple) is rescued from screwed-up Joey (Ray Liotta) by private-eye muscleman Dwight (Josh Brolin), who has his own problems with love of his life Ava (Eva Green – who I thought had one hell of a body from this film, especially when it comes to doing the nude scenes that Alba refuses to do for Hollywood, but then it came out in the extras she has a double for those moments 🙁 )
Thankfully, Bruce Willis makes an appearance in this sequel despite the notable handicap of his character being dead after the first one and, 9 years on, Jessica Alba is still as smoking hot as ever.
Sword slashes, knife wounds and Miho (Jamie Chung) kicking ass with her bow and arrow all resulting in showing blood as the colour white, so there’s no actual blood to spill, but the amount of violence in this sequel is also enough to give it an 18-certificate.
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For feels a bit disjointed at times until the stories start to intertwine a little, but forget trying to remember or work out what’s going on plot-wise, just sit back and enjoy the lush 3D visuals with its trademark black-and-white-plus-a-bit-of-colour-on-occasion, as Sin City 2 does justice to the format, matching the comic book style with some elements coming out of the screen, while the layering of background and foreground – plus all levels inbetween – is used to great effect.
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, although a cinema trailer for this film was made in 2.35:1, but I’m glad they went for 1.85:1 again, since it suits the comic book format better. I’ve described how damn good it looks in 3D, but I’ll also confirm that there’s no issues with the print at all, as you’d expect from a modern film, with everything onscreen sharp and detailed. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma screen with a Samsung BDP1500 player.
Audio-wise, the sound is in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and split-surround effects come best from car chases, gunfire and glass shattering.
The extras are as follows, and are in HD and 2D, but are not subtitled:
- Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For – Behind The Sin (Extended Bonus) (30:04): A Q&A with Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Eva Green and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plus film clips and additional pieces-to-camera from these and other cast members.
I wish they’d left the latter to a separate extra, and made this a Q&A only. Yes, it’s good to hear how for this sequel they wanted to make it closer to the source material, but you wouldn’t break away from a Q&A if you were watching it happen live.
- Characters: Separate featurettes for the characters of Ava (4:05), Nancy (3:51), Dwight (3:24) and Johnny (2:10). In each case, there’s chat with key cast and crew members, on-set footage plus comparisons between green-screen set and the finished product.
- Make-up effects of Sin City with Greg Nicotero (6:40): The man who works on all of Robert Rodriguez’s films talks about coming back to the same film set and working with the same actors and characters, plus new ones and trying to streamline the make-up application process.
- Stunts of Sin City with Jeff Dashnaw (5:36): Another long-time collaborator with Rodriguez, Dashnaw is a stuntman who appears here as Mickey Rourke’s stunt double.
The menu mixes 3D clips from the film with a short piece of the theme, and if you put this disc in a regular 2D Blu-ray player it’ll still work in 2D, whereas some releases simply baulk at playing whatsoever.
There are subtitles in English only, but… it has just FIVE chapters?? Someone is having a serious laugh there. Even the bog-standard of 12, which most studios use, wouldn’t be enough, but just five shows that someone at Lionsgate wasn’t just asleep at the switch but that they’d died of ennui.
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For is released on December 15th on 3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD and a Limited Edition Ultimate Killer Edition Deluxe Blu-ray Boxset, as you can see below, and click on the packshot atop the page, and also the boxset picture below, for the respective full-size images.
Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For also on 2 discs – for both the 2D and 3D versions,
a Basin City metal street sign, Sin City playing cards, a Sin City magnet set
and theatrical posters for both Sin City and Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For.
Running time: 102 minutes
Released: December 15th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Directors: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez
Producers: Sergei Bespalov, Aaron Kaufman, Stephen L’Heureux, Mark C Manuel, Alexander Rodnyansky and Robert Rodriguez
Screenplay: Frank Miller (based on his graphic novels)
Music: Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel
Marv: Mickey Rourke
Nancy: Jessica Alba
Dwight: Josh Brolin
Johnny: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Gail: Rosario Dawson
Hartigan: Bruce Willis
Ava: Eva Green
Senator Roark: Powers Boothe
Manute: Dennis Haysbert
Joey: Ray Liotta
Mort: Christopher Meloni
Bob: Jeremy Piven
Kroenig: Christopher Lloyd
Marcie: Julia Garner
Sally: Juno Temple
Wallenquist: Stacy Keach
Damien Lord: Marton Csokas
Lt. Liebowitz: Jude Ciccolella
Miho: Jamie Chung
Bertha: Lady Gaga
Gilda: Alexa Vega
Sam: Frank Miller (uncredited)
Sam’s Friend: Robert Rodriguez (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.