To recompense for those shortcomings, Miller and Rodriguez bring back Mickey Rourke’s lumbering psychopath Marv. He flits in and out of each yarn but is rarely given the opportunity to shine and his inclusion ends up adding to the deeply confusing timeline between both films. Some of the stories here take place prior to events in the first film, yet Marv (who famously met a grisly end in the original via electric chair) appears in scenes which seemingly happen after his demise. In Dwight’s tale, evil henchman Manute (Dennis Haysbert stepping into the late Michael Clarke Duncan’s shoes) ends of buying it in a stream of bullets, yet he’s alive and well during the hero’s later exploits in the first film.
Bruce Willis returns posthumously as a tortured apparition, adding zero to the film; Eva Green’s ridiculously signposted femme fatale appears to be allergic to clothing; and a mini subplot within Dwight’s thread involving two detectives feels maddeningly superfluous. It’s a very laboured and box-ticking enterprise, and the only actors who truly register are Powers Boothe, playing the corrupt Senator Roark with gleeful malevolence, and the ever dependable Brolin (once again bringing his skills to material which is clearly beneath him). Considering the leaps and bounds made in the comic book adaptation since the first film, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For fails to break new ground and ends up resembling an impressively shot extended effects showreel rather than a satisfying, fully-formed feature.
Adam Lowes | @adlow76