Sin city 2: Noir sans nuance

Almost a decade back it was a novelty as director Robert Rodriguez visualised the aesthetic of Frank Miller’s pulpy noir in black and white.

September 05, 2014 04:06 pm | Updated September 06, 2014 11:46 am IST

A scene from the movie

A scene from the movie


Genre : Noir

Director : Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Cast : Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Eva Green

Vicious characters, gravelly voice-overs and stylised visuals capturing voluptuous bodies indulging in violence of all kinds from strategic angles mark this belated sequel of the game changer in the business of cinematic adaptations of graphic novels. Almost a decade back it was a novelty as director Robert Rodriguez visualised the aesthetic of Frank Miller’s pulpy noir in black and white. His bold strokes broadened the horizons of graphic novels on celluloid.

Today Rodriguez and Frank Miller have inspired so many clones across the globe that even the original seems to have lost its mojo. Black and white with blotches of blood is no longer a canvas that stops you in your strides but then there is a new generation of noir seekers and so Rodriguez and Miller up the nihilistic fervour to lure them into the Sin City all over again through a series of visceral visuals in 3D. The narrative has familiar misanthropic overtones but one has to keep the original in mind to make sense of the characters as the makers have no intentions to indulge the latecomers.

Rodriguez injects the adrenaline early as Marv (Mickey Rourke) returns to serve justice on group of punks in the opening segment in his inimitable style. It is followed by the story of a new entry in the form of champion gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt) whose skill at the game becomes a drawback when he wins against senator Roarke (Powers Booth). Cut to passionate photographer Dwight (Josh Brolin), who had a ‘face-off’ in the original. Here he is manipulated by his old flame Ava (Eva Green) to win her all over again. Largely unclothed, she is indeed the dame to kill for that the tagline suggests.

The strings come together in the fourth segment where the spirited stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) takes on the corrupt senator to avenge the death of her bodyguard Hartigan (Bruce Willis drops in as a ghost). Alba has the most cogent character arc but she doesn’t have the acting chops to justify her transformation from a survivor to a bitter alcoholic. It is Rourke who once again towers over the rest of the players, short changed by an uneven narrative that relies on dehumanising scenarios of sex and violence generating numbness towards the characters and the city.

> Also read: Sudhish Kamat review

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