Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is an ode to odd decision-making. Nearly a decade after the incredibly inventive original, this movie is a poor excuse for a sequel. Or is it a prequel? Whatever the fuck this movie is, it isn’t good and its most glaring issue is the chaotic direction that stockpiles confusion.

While Robert Rodriguez made the Sin City universe come to life on film, it feels like Frank Miller had considerably more input this time compared to the original. For whatever reason, the stories chosen from Miller’s comic books—or the new material written solely for this movie—do not translate this time around. At best, the stories could be best described as bland and boiled down, which just makes it feel like you’re watching recycled shit. Plus, the fucked up timeframes of these stories don’t help solve any confusion.

Why wait so long to create something so mundane?

By now, we’ve had a decade of technological advancement, which has resulted in so many movies copying Sin City’s same exact style and artful exposition. Somehow, the effects are significantly less impressive in this effort. Maybe it’s just Mickey Rourke’s fucked up face, but Marv’s makeup looks drastically different.

Without Mickey Rourke as Marv, I question whether or not this movie would have been made. Marv is just around to sprinkle in some comedic value and remind you of the original movie…y’know, the one where Marv dies. The choice to include Marv again appears to be an uninspired, cheap attempt to fool the audience into liking this sequel/prequel. There are just not a lot of new things to enjoy.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Unquestionably, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny is easily one of the best parts of the movie. Johnny is a gambler that can’t lose who is hell-bent on revenge. The immovable object to Johnny’s irresistible force is Senator Roark, played once again by Powers Booth. I lost count of how many times Powers Booth said “power” in this movie, but it seemed like at least 6 times in the poker scene alone.

About 30 minutes into the movie is when we’re introduced to the titular character Ava, A Dame to Kill For. And I do mean titular. Eva Green’s boobs are undoubtedly the best part of this movie. Eva Green is pretty spectacular as Ava, but the character itself is less substantial than her boobs.

Eva Green

Speaking of a set of boobs, Jessica Alba might be a very nice, sweet person, but she is just atrocious as an actress. Jessica Alba is back as Nancy—everyone’s favorite sexually abused child turned into a stripper…only she never actually strips, but she does have a heart of gold. While several other stories take place prior to Sin City’s original events, Nancy’s timeline takes place afterwards as she’s lamenting the loss of Hartigan (whose ghost is still being played by Bruce Willis).

In case you don’t remember, Bruce Willis eats a bullet in the picturesque ending of Sin City after saving Jessica Alba. Little Nancy is still on the pole in A Dame to Kill For, and it is painful to see her try to act sexy yet again. It’s just so damn awkward and fake.

Jessica Alba

Everything is just so damn awkward and fake. In a nutshell, the issue with A Dame to Kill For can be seen in the recasting of three significant roles—Josh Brolin replacing Clive Owen as Dwight; Jamie Chung replacing Devon Aoki as Miho; and Dennis Haysbert replacing Michael Clarke Duncan as Manute.

It’s hard to fault them for casting a new Manute since Michael Clarke Duncan passed away, but I would have retired the character instead of searching for another monstrous black man with a deep voice. The same could be said for Miho since Devon Aoki was pregnant during the time of filming. But the most egregious decision in this entire fucking movie is the decision to replace Clive Owen.

Josh Brolin is a great actor, but he was miscast and misused. Clive Owen embodied the character of Dwight and brought it to life. The seed was sewn in the original Sin City with the convenient line that Dwight just recently got a new face. Reconstructive facial surgery is one thing, but a British accent is another.


There’s a scene towards the end where they plaster Josh Brolin’s face in makeup appliances and put a mop of hair on him to make him vaguely resemble a retarded Clive Owen. It’s a bewildering decision that seemingly had no thought put behind it.

While Sin City had snappy writing with several quotable lines, A Dame to Kill For features embarrassing dialogue. There’s literally a sequence in the movie where Josh Brolin (playing the pre-British accent version of Dwight) delivers a string of clichés—including the following:

“I forgive you, you got your wish. Go home, sleep tight.”
“I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.”
“You made your bed, sleep in it.”

Did a 12-year old write this script? I’m almost certain this movie was conjured up in the mind of a pre-pubescent adolescent that can only think of buckets of blood and plenty of boobies.

Oh, and Stacy Keach looks like a breathing testicle with spectacles. So there’s that.

Testicle with Spectacles

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn’t all bad—maybe half of everything works. But the bad is fucking horrific. The biggest fault with this effort is that it’s so forgettable that it might actually hurt how people remember the original. It’s easy to mix up which events belong to which movie considering the self-referential nature of the broken intertwined timelines between both movies.

Let’s just hope it ends here and we all agree that this movie never actually happened.

2 out of 5 stars

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