Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, fails to kill the box office

Have you ever dated someone that was appealing to eye but dull to the mind? Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller bring those emotions to life in their awaited sequel, ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.’

The film that is based on Miller’s graphic novel has its share of ooh’s and aah’s. The visual graphics that blend animation with live action are difficult to ignore as the film exhibits its signature several shades of black and white, all while mimicking panels of a comic book at certain times.

If gore is what you like then Rodriguez is the man for the job. There are plenty of limbs flying around, which is to be expected from Rodriguez’ aficionados.

The film does a good job at summarizing who each character is right away. There is no confusion, even to the casual viewer who has yet to see it’s prior film, Sin City.

Unfortunately, this is still a poor man’s Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill that relies heavily on a vengeance plot from several characters both new and old, while showcasing itself in a nonlinear fashion. Each character faces their own dilemma with death awaiting at every corner.

In addition to the original cast that features the likes of: Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Mickey Rourke, Rodriguez added several more characters to the film while incorporating cameos from Ray Liotta and Lady Gaga.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, most recently known for his role in ‘The Dark Knight Rises, plays a young over-confident gambler Johnny, who attempts to take down his father, Senator Roark played by Powers Boothe.

Jonny’s stubbornness won’t get him very far as the only thing driving him to live was the opportunity for others to say he beat his father at poker, “not once, but twice.”

What may be more than just a game of poker, comes off as a desperate attempt at finding acceptance from his father.

The most common theme from each character in this film is them finding acceptance and reassurance of a truth they have yet to accept. Josh Brolin’s character Dwight, is easily suckered by the sexual appeal of Ava, played by Eva Green. Dwight, unable to let go of the one who got away, often sees himself falling into Ava’s traps as her character mercilessly turns men into fools due to her sexual prowess.

Then there is Nancy the popular stripper from ‘Kadie’s’ played by Jessica Alba, that now deals with an alcohol issue. Her sole goal is to avenge the death of John Hartigan, played by Bruce Willis, by attempting to kill Senator Roark.

Overall, though the characters were based off the comic, their roles lacked originality while the inner monologue became repetitive and tiring after a while. The film was extremely choppy and at moments it felt as if some the cast members were thrown into a pot with no real indication as to what they were adding to the plate.

The choppiness in the structure made the film feel very sloppy. It had all the gourmet ingredients but lacked the recipe. There was never any control in where the story was going and the chapter-style structure did not lead to one direction, but several avenues.

Though the film ran just shy of two hours, at times it felt like it were three. Even at its respectable length it never felt complete and desperately needed more.

The film is likely to bring astonishment and admiration for its aesthetics, but when that fades there won’t be much left to admire.