(This review is meant to be read in a gravelly, monotone voice.)
I went into the Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I was just out of work and thinking of a little indulgence; regular fries. I know the regular size at Five Guys is huge, but I had a long day of work and was in for something harsh an hour later. The evening promised Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. It gave me a deep, painful feeling in my gut, like a bag of rocks. A heavy bag. Maybe lava rocks. I think those are heavy.
The adaptation of the Frank Miller comic book, which he co-directed with Robert Rodriguez, just made me uneasy. Lots of talent on the screen, but why did it take so many years. I munched down on fries, thinking about life and what was ahead.
I stepped into the theatre lobby, asking what floor the movie was on. I was met with the kind of shrug you’d usually find from a middle school boy asked about American history. Moving to the second floor, I ran into Tim, then Drew, each waiting, perhaps dreading what was to come. I could see in their eyes a quizzical look, like two fish trying to figure out how to avoid an oncoming Great White. We were about to walk into hell and didn’t even know, just three ants entering into…um…some kind of ant trap.
We were each given 3-D glasses. Oh boy, not this nonsense again. As we entered theatre seven, an ominous noise shuddered out of the speakers. Loud. So loud. Seriously, it was obnoxiously loud. Suddenly, we ants realized that before Sin City was to begin, we had to sit through Satan’s most devious contraption; a live 3-D red carpet premiere with some goofy looking former “TRL” host named Quddus. Life spun into a cycle of Quddus bragging about seeing Sin City that morning to various actors who weren’t on the movie’s poster. Stacey Keach talking about his website. Some curly haired blonde pretended to listen to the “TRL” man, only to get caught feigning interest when she had to elaborate an answer.
How did it come to this? What decisions in my past led me to a life of 3-D Quddus?
Finally, the movie started. Hopes were raised. There’s Mickey Rourke, he was good in the first film. Why is it off though? Why is every character insisting on talking in questions like this? Sure, it’s a pseudo film-noir, yet a little deviation is acceptable. Oooh. There’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I thought to myself that he was an engaging presence. No. Hopes were dashed quicker than a prostitute doing something prostitute-y. JGL was talking in the same monotone as everyone else. Some nonsense about never losing and dames. Dames with nice gams.
Where were the compelling and dynamic visuals of the first film? Surely, the only take away wasn’t that red blood in a black and white movie was cool. Maybe not. Every few minutes a good actor would appear. Josh Brolin. Eva Green. Christopher Meloni. Same thing, different garbage. Each macho man talking in the same gravelly tenor. Sin City corrupts, turning talented people into an undecipherable gelatinous blob.
Maybe it was this uniformity of the pronunciations. Maybe it was the fact that every character seemed the same. Whatever it was, I knew I had to get out of there…but I couldn't leave. I promised myself something I was regretting. I promised I would never review a film I haven’t seen all the way through. So I sat and saw Eva Green’s archetype seduce and swerve men into her bidding, every beat more predictable than the last. I saw the filmmakers put some Jay Leno-esque makeup on Brolin’s character, as if it was a trick that could fool any old dog.
Then it happened. I don’t know if it was being dizzy from all the atrocious fumes the film was emitting. I don’t know if it was being surrounded by equally suckered suckers. I laughed. I laughed and couldn't stop. The movie had crossed the boundary from being casually bad to outrageously, comically so. I laughed and so did the people next to me. All of the posturing couldn't shine this turd of a picture. It could accidentally turn into a comedy.
I stumbled out of the theatre two hours later. It was a new world to me, a better one. Sure, life has a lot of stumbling blocks popping up like a…umm…hmmm…monstrous Whac-A-Moles. I knew this though. I knew I’d never have to watch Sin City: A Dame to Kill again. The world can’t be that sh*tty then.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens in Seattle tomorrow.