Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Reviewers were forbidden from posting a word about this sequel until opening day, lest we give away the shocking secret that it’s a carbon copy of its predecessor, Sin City (2005). Of course the carbon is the whole point: directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, adapting Miller’s black-and-white neonoir comics, take all the key elements of hard-boiled fiction and boil them down even harder, till there’s nothing left but a crusty residue of vicious thugs, cynical losers, crooked politicians, viperish women, and flying glass as people get punched out and crash through windows. The visual design is stunning, with stark black-and-white photography and striking use of spot color to emphasize the good things in life (neon signs, car taillights, cigarette embers, sexy redheads, etc). The icon-heavy cast includes Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysbert, Ray Liotta, and Stacy Keach, the latter buried under tons of prosthetic makeup and looking like a human mud slide.