Box Office Democracy: “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”

I was remarking to a friend a few weeks back that I was afraid that I had grown out of Sin City, that the franchise I had loved so much as a teenager/young adult was just beneath me now.  I don’t think that’s it though, not entirely, popular culture itself seems to have absorbed the things it likes from Sin City and moved on.  All that’s left is a movie that feels just as old and tired as the original film felt new and fresh nine years ago.

Before I go any further I have to shower praise on Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a man who seems to have been born to play noir leads.  While this is no secret to anyone who saw his dynamite performance in Brick it’s a treat to watch him do this work and a crying shame that there aren’t more opportunities for him to do it.  His scenes are easily the best in the movie as they crackle with an ephemeral energy that can’t quite hold on when he’s not on screen.  He’s helped a bit by a story that clicks more thematically with classic film noir but there’s no denying that he’s pushing the entire movie higher with his performance.