A Dame To Kill For is a couple of years too late. The original crime thriller roared onto the scene in 2005 with a whole lot of fanfare and critical acclaim. With a bold tone and compelling visual style, it was the surprise hit of the year. But waiting nine years before coming back for a sequel? No wonder it was a flop at the box office. And that’s a shame, because A Dame To Kill For is an extremely entertaining affair.
Through no fault of its own, Sin City‘s visual style doesn’t exactly feel fresh anymore. With 300 and a slew of other comic book films utilizing the same green-screen shtick, the film’s look obviously isn’t as much as a draw as it used to be. Thankfully co-directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez pack the film with a number of stunning shots that are sure to resonate and leave an impact long after you’ve left the theater. With frequent splashes of color that strikingly contrast the black-and-white palette, this is a downright gorgeous film on every level.
Just like its predecessor, Sin City‘s cast is impressive across the board. Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin are both exceptional as the kickass protagonists, while Eva Green steals every one of her scenes as the mesmerizing femme fatale Ava Lord. As Senator Roark, Powers Booth is also a standout, impressively bringing the devil to life with the perfect dose of menace and creepiness. Personally, I was most excited to see Jessica Alba’s Nancy Callahan tackle a brand new adventure (her story was created just for the film and isn’t based on the original graphic novel). While Alba has definitely improved as an actress (and dancer), her storyline doesn’t exactly climax in a surprising manner. In fact, the film kind of ends with a thud which is somewhat disappointing. Thankfully it’s not enough to ruin the rest of the ride.
With its special brand of sex and violence, A Dame To Kill For is a highly absorbing tale. It’s just too bad it was released at a time when nobody was asking for it.