After a nine-year break Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring two of Miller's stories (as well as incorporating some new tales) back to the big screen. Just Another Saturday Night follows Marv (Mickey Rourke), A Long Bad Night sees interactions between Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) and Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Nancy's Last Dance shows the aftermath of Hartigan's death (Bruce Willis) while A Dame To Kill For sees Dwight (Josh Brolin) and Ava (Eva Green) playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
Some of these stories are told out of sequence; several acting as prequels and some as sequels to the preceding film so I would highly recommend viewing the original Sin City, (2005) before seeing this follow-up. With roles having been recast (Josh Brolin appearing as Dwight instead of Clive Owen, Dennis Haysbert replacing Michael Clarke Duncan after his death and Jamie Chung taking over from the pregnant Devon Aoki), certain interlinking elements of the stories can be a little confusing to follow if, like me, your recollection of the first film was fuzzy. The cast do well in their roles, whether a main or supporting player. Rourke carries the film on his hefty frame, Green is deliciously duplicitous in her role as victim and vixen, Boothe and Gordon-Levitt add intensity with their installment and Brolin is solid throughout. Alba gets a little more to do in this film but so much of her performance (and that of the character Nancy) is inextricably linked to the exotic dancing, so it can be hard to separate her voice from the gyrating twerk-fest. The adapted universe for Miller's stories returns in all its black-and-white (with pops of colour) glory; characters inhabiting the shadow and illustrated planes with equal fervour. This makes for a unique viewing experience and highlights the violence and action. The extent to which the film goes to convey the depravities of Sin City occasionally feels tedious and forced but fortunately the stories themselves compel the audience to invest long-term.