This summer’s “in-between-quel” Sin City: A Dame to Kill For weaves together four different tales: two based on previously-released Frank Miller Sin City comic book stories (“Just Another Saturday Night” and “A Dame to Kill For”), along with two written specifically for the film by Miller. Above, we have a clip from “The Fat Loss” segment of the new Sin City movie, wherein Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) decides to “go crazy” and try and take down the most powerful man in Basin City, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe).
That clip also highlights that Marv (Mickey Rourke) is part of the Nancy storyline in the new Sin City film, in addition to being a player in the “Saturday Night” and “Dame to Kill For” segments. It makes sense enough that Marv would lend Nancy a helping hand on her ill-advised plan, as he does have a crush on her – one that leads to him getting into trouble during “Saturday Night”, after he sees her with Hartigan (Bruce Willis) in the “That Yellow Bastard” storyline from the first movie. Moreover, that offers a hint at where the “Fat Loss” thread lies within the timeline of the other Sin City stories featured on the big screen so far.
If that’s not confusing enough, certain Basin City residents from the first Sin City film will have different faces in A Dame to Kill For. While that’s for storytelling purposes in the case of Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin, taking over from Clive Owen), it’s also due to real-world circumstances in the cases of the one-eyed Manute (Dennis Haysbert, filling in for the late Michael Clarke Duncan) and the deadly Miho (Jamie Chung, who replaced future Arrow star Devon Aoki, as the latter was pregnant during filming on Sin City: A Dame to Kill For).
You can get a sneak peek at Chung (Sucker Punch) wielding a bow and arrow as the new Miho below, courtesy of Complex; first, though, we have an image from the new Sin City installment that does feature a familiar face – Rosario Dawson back as Gail, the authority figure amongst the prostitutes of “Old Town.”
The monochromatic world (with dashes of colors other than white and black) looks as stylish in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For as it did in its predecessor… which would be fine, except it’s been nine years since Frank Miller and director Robert Rodriguez first brought this heightened comic book reality to the big screen. To be fair, the trailer footage unveiled so far from A Dame to Kill For, has contained the occasional stylistic flourish and/or image that manages to impress, but on the whole there doesn’t seem to be as much improvement in the presentation as you might expect, given that nearly a decade has gone by between films.
Mind you, that’s not to say Sin City: A Dame to Kill For will be “bad.” On the contrary, we may have a situation similar to that of 300: Rise of an Empire from earlier this year – where a long-awaited second installment is respectable on its own terms, but feels like a step-down in quality compared to its more innovative predecessor. Best to wait and hope for the best, of course.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens in U.S. theaters on August 22nd, 2014.