Once again the release of a sequel has given me the push I needed to watch a film that I have wanted to explore for some time, in this case it was Sin City. I didn’t know much about this film apart from that it was based on graphic novels and had some pretty big names attached to it. I wasn’t particularly desperate to see this film but I ended up really enjoying it.
My first comment would have to be on just how cool and slick it looked. Obviously shot and edited in a way that was to resemble the graphic novels themselves, this was immediately refreshing and captivating making this film so easy to watch. The use of colour sporadically was great too and it really defined particular scenes and moments. I also enjoyed when silhouettes were used instead of live action such as Dwight (Clive Owen) drowning in the tar pits. Basically this film looks great and that makes anything so much more interesting to watch. The collection of short stories was not a method of story telling I was expecting when I began to watch this, at first I didn’t warm to this idea as I didn’t see much point in a film being created if this was the case. However once characters from different stories began to appear in several of the short stories this was ok as these interactions made Sin City feel like more of a film.
The cast was full of well known names, for me this is always good. Firstly you generally get good performances and plus it is fun for the viewer to have recognisable faces throughout the film. Mickey Rourke plays Marv and could be cited as the main character of this film. For me this role is perfect for Rourke and it is his best performance that I have seen, I feel that in some of his other films Rourke can seem awkward or disjointed but not here – Marv suits him down to the ground and he performs well crafting a very believable character. There were a whole heap of great roles in this film and one aspect that each of the short stories characters had was the self-narration. This was an interesting approach but I really liked it, I thought it was an insight into the characters that we wouldn’t have obtained without this method of story telling included.
The action in Sin City was constant and really enjoyable, due to the way this film is shot it isn’t your standard action movie action but it comes thick and fast and adds an injection of pace to the film combined with a great score. I also loved the bookends to the film regarding ‘The Salesman’ (Josh Hartnett) as this allowed the viewers imagination to kick in, we get a glimpse into another character and it simply fuels the idea that we have only scratched the surface with Sin City.
Rating – 9/10
Sin City 2 begins with confusion as the first short story focuses around Marv, this immediately made me wonder, is this a prequel? Unfortunately this confusion didn’t end there. Sin City 2 ends up being a prequel and a sequel and due to the nature of the film again being divided into short stories again I couldn’t get my head round the timeline while I was watching it. After reading both of films plots online afterwards I have grasped the series of events but a bit more clarity in the film would have been welcome.
Sin City 2 focuses on Frank Miller’s graphic novel A Dame To Kill For in this film but he also wrote two new short stories specifically for this movie. My favourite was The Long Bad Night, this story featured Joseph Gordon Levitt and naturally as one of my favourite actors grabbed my interest. Although the story was quite predictable there were a few twists on offer and the style that Levitt brought to his character was fun to watch. Personally I found this story to be the most interesting and I thought it was a shame that it was never really the focus and that Levitt’s character wasn’t really brought into any of the other short stories. Anyway The Long Bad Night was my highlight to the movie and I am really happy that Miller created this story just for this sequel.
As I have already mentioned the main focus was on A Dame To Kill For which mainly features Eva Green and Josh Brolin. This story was alright but it became old fast, as it just felt like a back and forth between Green and Brolin’s characters. This took up the main bulk of the film and it actually made the film feel longer than the first despite being about 15 minutes shorter. Another issue I have with Sin City 2 was its failure to get back the same actors to reprise their roles from the first film. As I had only just watched the first film I wasn’t that familiar with the characters so didn’t immediately realise that some of these new actors were playing characters from the first film, this paired with the confusing timeline did not help as I was just trying to piece everything together.
So whilst I still really enjoyed Sin City 2, it was nowhere near as good as the original. The confusing elements took away from what could have been a collection of some great short stories, but to add to this, the film was also noticeably less slick and cool than the first. The Long Bad Night was the highlight and maybe more focus here could have helped. Still a good follow up movie and to be honest I would love to see a third.
Rating – 7/10