Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)
There is no justice without sin.
So the first Sin City was pretty cool and fresh right? I mean, a couple of stories intertwined in a way - almost like the olden Horror anthology movies - with that Black and White palette with little splashes of color as it saw fit was pretty rad. So, now that it's been "done before," will it still hold up for the second time around?
We have three stories this time around, so I'll try and throw about a paragraph at each. Just to be forward however, I'm going to organize things in order of the stories finishing - as our first "main" story ends up being interrupted by the second, both of which are following a quick short pre-credit story about a character that returns from the first movie. Anyways, story one consists of a man whose taking picture private-eye style of rich folks being unfaithful for their wives. His monologing informs of some dark past - as everyone in Sin City seems to have - and it seems that it's about to come front and center. An old flame comes back into his life, requesting his help. Against his best judgment and wishes, she sinks her hooks into his mind and he goes to see what kind of trouble she's in - only to get beat for trespassing when he finds out she's apparently in no trouble at all. After arriving (by being thrown out of his car) at his place, he finds her there waiting for him - and once again sinks in her hooks. Lucks not quite on his side the next time however, as it turns out shes just using him - and with his services completed, she decides to show her gratitude through the end of her revolver. He's pretty roughed up, but he determined to live and to get his revenge.
Story two is of a gambling man. He's quite the good one at that, seeming as though he has a supernatural sense as to which machines will net him the win. He finds himself a pretty lady "good luck charm," and jumps into a high-stakes game of poker with the local bad guys. Turns out, he doesn't have anything to worry about as far as the game luck goes, cleaning house - but in turn he makes an enemy out of the big bad. After a night on the town, his luck seems as though it may finally run out however, when the big bad catches up to him and deals out some punishment as an "example." After getting some broken fingers re-set and a bullet pulled from his leg, he goes to meet up with his good luck charm to find the big bad has already got to her - leaving her literally in pieces. He escapes death, but is determined to accomplish what he set out for - to win the next night's poker game, and show he can beat the big bad.
The last story involves a stripper from the first movie, haunted by her past and the fact her cop friend and savior is now dead. She desperately wants revenge on the man who (between himself and his son) caused her so much grief. We learn that she somehow managed to get the cops gun, and has been getting really good with it, but the big bad doesn't really care nor find her a real threat. Meanwhile, she seems to have a bit of a psychotic drunken break, leading her to finally go over the edge. She cuts her hair, and in sudden plain decides to cut up her face - as there's many a man who would want to tear the person who did it to her apart, one of which in particular she's banking on. Our big tank-like friend from the Goldilocks story of the first movie (and also appearing in pre-credit and first story of the movie) isn't very fond of what's happened to her face, and when she names the man she want's revenge on as the man who did it to her, the plot is set. It's a two person hit squad, and the one is well worth his weight in dynamite.
The color usage is back, of course. Being one of the things that set the first apart against it's competition. It's still pretty striking, but at the same time it's nothing really different from the first, so if you weren't impressed by it before nothing is gonna change here. It provides a nice little graphic-novel kind of feel, and it can sometimes turn into a game of "what's colored" ala "eye spy." There's most likely plenty of CG in this thing, and sometimes it's incredibly noticeable, but it's also the kind of movie that you half expect someone to tell you most of it was shot on green screen, so for me to hold it against it (particularly when it's not that bad and sort of "artsy") would be kind of trivial.
As far as story goes, it's not a terrible deal. You still get multiple stories, with a good chunk of screen time including who I can only imagine was everyone's favorite character from the first. It doesn't really feel as though the stories really tie into each other at all though, outside of everyone at one point or another being at the Kadie's club, so it loses out on the straight anthology feel that would be reminiscent of something like Tales from the Darkside. I'm sure this won't bother most the viewers, and if anything it being the other way would have been more of a pro than the lack of it being a con. Each individual story does focus on it's own little thing, although revenge easily becomes the two stories. Outside of that, it wasn't anything stand out and surprising as far as plot goes.
Audio is fine, although I have to admit that the monologs really started to annoy me this time around. I know it kind of adds to that olden-day detective kind of feel, but at the same time it didn't really feel necessary this time around as there wasn't really any real detecting going on. If anything, this was the most annoying part to me - and after hearing a character talk to them self while doing the thing that they are saying for the second time I was already clicking out. It's a movie, if you are showing it on the screen I really don't need to hear you tell me what you are doing - it works for comics and the likes because they aren't really in motion, so it can really help flesh out the details, but on the movie screen it just gets a bit of a nuisance.
Final verdict from me? If you liked the first then you should enjoy the second since it's more of the same. It's the greatest aspect and worst aspect of the movie - that it's by it's prequel mediocre. It's not a terrible movie by any means, although those who don't like nudity should steer clear - 75-80% of the first story contains it. Violence is rampant, of course with it being done so artsy it could be argued that the overall effect of it is pretty well reduced to near-comedy at times.