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We went to go see Sin City 2 tonight and I've been thinking about it; it's not as bad as I had heard from reviews, it's--just not good either. I've been thinking about why that is; one reason is that the pacing and the story structure are messy and it just isn't coherent, and the other is that it's rather flat.

One of the best things about the original film, I thought, was how it interwove three different narratives together and then bookended them with minor characters. This film doesn't do that at all, though it tries, I guess? There are three main narratives, that intertwine slightly--which is to say, you see elements in each of them that kind of foreshadow the next one; kind of like Cloud Atlas but not really (and Cloud Atlas was a mess too, but a glorious one). But each story seems to fall just short of what it could have been: I honestly didn't get the point of Marv's story in the beginning, and kept waiting for something to happen that would conclude it; it took me way longer than I should have to realize who Dwight was (not helped by the fact that Josh Brolin replaced Clive Owen, and the characterization was different enough that they might as well have been different characters anyway); Johnny/Joseph Gordon-Levitt's story was okay, I guess; Nancy's story, the one Miller wrote specifically for this film was utterly bland.

Let me back up a little. I read all of the Sin City books in a rush years ago and ate them like candy. Their greatest strength was how they were such a great pastiche of the old crime and noir stories and comics of the forties and fifties. That they all took place in some menacing Anytown, USA, "Sin City," that was both totally retro and totally contemporary, made sense: they were about pain and rage and in some real sense a kind of impotence--an acknowledgement that things would never change but a determination to go down fighting anyway.

Sin City 2 doesn't have that quality. It doesn't even have the pain or the rage. We laughed at a fair bit of the dialogue when it edged over from noir into outright parody; we laughed at several of the sex scenes for this same reason. Way to take Eva Green and nudity and make it funny, gentlemen. Wtf.

That said, there was a lovely image of Green swimming nude that was shot in a very art deco sort of fashion that was very lovely; especially when you see her in silhouette before a full moon, ready to dive, and she looks very much like the goddess Manute says she is.

Also, Manute made me miss Michael Clarke Duncan, may he RIP. I went nuts trying to figure out where I know the replacement actor from; turns out he was the All-State Man. I was amused.

Anyway, I kind of hope Rodriguez ends up doing another cut for dvd. I feel like there was a good film buried in this one, and I'd like to see it.


( 2 comments — Add your .02 )
Sep. 2nd, 2014 03:12 am (UTC)
So my favorite local theatre has $5 Tuesdays and I was planning to make this my $5 movie; is it at least worth $5?
Sep. 2nd, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
Yep, totally worth the $5.
( 2 comments — Add your .02 )

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