A Dame To Kill For isn't likely to create converts out of those uninterested in the pulpy side of fiction. But it more than earns its keep in terms of lavishing love, mildly ironic as well as pretty damn earnest, on pumped-up noir.
Anyone offended by graphic violence, kinky sex and eyefuls of nudity should stay away. But for those who like their fiction hard-boiled like a rock and naughty to the bone, expect to be pleased, if not thoroughly satisfied.
The greatest sin of "Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" is the way its high style is brought low -- visually stunning, but emotionally vapid, unrelentingly violent, its splendiferous comic book cast mostly squandered.
Punishingly stylized, this marriage of comic-book panels and hard-boiled dialogue has a heaviness that can't be explained solely by its cynicism or lack of wit. It's a blunt instrument whose visual shadings far surpass the kill-or-be-killed storytelling.
The movie's trademark mix of live action and drawing techniques (white silhouettes, reddened lips, an abundance of venetian blinds) looks fantastic. If it's depth you want, you've knocked on the wrong door.
This new "Sin City" features the signature characteristics and many of the original's characters but seems less adventurous. It feels a little flabby and self-satisfied. The element of surprise is gone.
This is Rodriguez's second sequel in a row in which he turns sex, violence and exploitation into an occasional for dullness. For a film loaded with decapitations and gun-toting ladies in bondage gear, Sin City gets really tedious really quickly.