Since the super-stylish Sin City (2005) first splashed itself across screens almost a decade ago, graphic novel writer Frank Miller’s reputation has flourished in the world of cinema. Robert Rodriguez’s film, which Miller helmed segments of, went down a storm and, following Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Greek odyssey 300 (2006), Miller took to the director’s chair solo for The Spirit (2008). With sequel 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) assailing UK screens at this very moment, the timing couldn’t be any better for a first glimpse of the long-gestating follow-up to that original box office outing in Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014). A first trailer has now arrived and submerges us once again into the noirish hell of Miller’s despicable, monochrome underworld.
Based primarily on the second volume of Miller’s long-running series, A Dame to Kill For will see the return of Dwight McCarthy, who was played by Clive Owen in the first film and Josh Brolin this time out. Brolin is the ‘pre-reconstructive surgery’ Dwight, enlisted by an old flame – the eponymous dame, Ava Lord (Eva Green) – to free her from the clutches of a desperate situation. Alongside that storyline is another chapter in the story of Marv (Mickey Rourke) and then two stories Miller has penned specifically for the film. One centres on dancer Nancy (Jessica Alba) attempting to get over a loss, the other features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a cocky gambler. The trailer serves as a snappy, bite-sized reminder of the first film’s signature visual flourishes.
Equally, the pulpy violence and oppressive locale – “where you go in with your eyes open, or you don’t come out at all” – shines through. There will be murder and mayhem on the streets once again and it seems that is may well be down to one or more of the series’ infamous femme fatales. Along with the returning Powers Booth, Jamie Chung, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King and Bruce Willis, the cast for the Miller/Rodriguez-directed sequel is rounded out by Marton Csokas, Lady Gaga, Julia Garner, Dennis Haysbert, Stacy Keach, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven and Juno Temple. All in all, the trailer suggests a film cut from the very same blood-spattered cloth as the original; whether it can repeat the success of its predecessor remains to be seen.