It’s been just shy of a decade since we last visited the populace of Basin City, and things haven’t changed much. It’s still mostly in black and white, it’s still overflowing with violence and sex, it’s still got an amazing cast who are mostly having a whale of a time. If anything, the total lack of change is the biggest problem facing this prequel/sequel/parallelquel, in that it’s more of the same to a fault.
s before we’ve got three interlocking stories; there’s Joseph Gordon Levitt as a gambler on a hot streak until he runs out of luck when he beats local Senator (Powers Booth) in a card game, then there’s Josh Brolin (filling the role previously played by Clive Owen) who gets caught up in a Body Heat-esque plot with the titular femme fatale Eva Green, and finally there’s stripper Jessica Alba who is out for revenge after the murder of her one true love Bruce Willis.
inding through all the stories is Mickey Rourke’s gravel voiced maniac, and plenty of famous faces through the rest of the supporting cast including Jeremy Piven, Lady Gaga, Juno Temple, Ray Liotta, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Lloyd and on and on and on. However, only Booth and Green are truly memorable in their roles, both overjoyed with playing characters so wickedly evil. Everyone else is just doing exactly what they did last time, or don’t do enough to leave an impression this time.
reviously, co-directors Rodriguez and Miller were bringing something fresh and innovative to the big screen, a mash-up of twisted retellings of classic noir stories told with cutting edge technology. Here the visuals feel less inspired and the stories feels less twisted, and despite the nine year gap, A Dame To Kill For feels all too rushed, and is sorely missing the bizarro nature of scenes from the original like Elijah Wood’s cannibal killer, Nick Stahl’s yellow murderer or Benicio Del Toro’s decapitated conversation.
here’s still sex and violence and everything we’d come to expect from a tale based in Sin City, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Much like Alba's distraught stripper; yes it looks good, but it's just going through the motions, hoping to dazzle you into not noticing how very little effort has been put into the routine this time round.