The corrupt and merciless city is back in its ever-alluring black and white landscape. The many deranged and eccentric of its inhabitants collide with one another and use their selfishness and cunning to manipulate the other and exact proper revenge. The city evermore smells of revenge, sex, and insolence. It is Sin City after all. Even our primary protagonists have a long way to go before they reach the path of righteousness and honor. Marv (Mickey Rourke) is still a cold and ruthless human being, regardless of the occasional instances in which he helps wage war against the city's most powerful and evil of souls. Nancy (Jessica Alba) continues her disconsolate life, sensuously dancing amongst multitudinous drunken perverts. Josh Brolin strangely replaces Clive Owen (which is a shame, no offense) as the vigilant photographer, Dwight. And with a sequel also come new characters like the charming, cocksure Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who never ceases finding fortune in gambling; and a venomous epitomical femme fatal, Ava (Eva Green) who always gets her way with gentlemen whether it's for the sake of security or violence.
In essence, the city itself and its numerous residents together create a fascinating and unique atmosphere that we were all stunned by back in 2005, and nownine years laterstill, at least, envelops us with wonder. Of course, the awe-inspiring, gorgeous visuals (the stylistic color paletteeverything painted in black and white until a vibrantly dressed woman enters the setting) are the main attraction. The cinematography is executed with stupendous creativity as to the orchestration of each new shot. For example, we witness a marvelous shot of Eva Green diving into the poolthe screen vertically split between underwater and above, emitting an elegant reflection of a woman from both sides of the screen majestically diving in. Or another where miniature-scaled cars maniacally crashing around Marv's enlarged head on his many thrilling chases. The colors, the choreography of the camera, the appealing pure white goo that spurts from a body in the place of expected crimson blood, the refreshing noir settingall of these terrific elements combine to generate that what makes these two films so impressive.
When it comes to the plot, it starts out strong as the excited audience is getting the feel of it again after a nine-year hiatus, shrouded in mystery and developing like an intriguing thriller. As with its predecessor, the film interconnects various story lines into a tryingly cohesive grand picture. Personally, Gordon-Levitt's story arc was the most investing and compellinga man who interestingly appears to be more vulnerable than the rest. His tense encounters with Roark (Powers Boothe), a repulsively diabolical and potent politician, definitely had my attention. Alba's arc was certainly the weakest; being the last storyline, by that point, I was already tired of the movie and willing to take another sizable break before I see the next installment.
Every single arc keeps repeating the predominant theme of revenge, and eventually, it wears thin through all its monotony. Once the characters' backgrounds and motives have been fully realized, the pay- off, in comparison, is ultimately unsatisfying and unremarkable. Fans of the distinct art style might be entertained for the first hour, but when the repetitiveness and gradual dulling of the narrative becomes even more transparent, the magic of the once-magnificent world tragically diminishes. There's no more ground to break and seemingly no more enthralling stories to tell.