Why Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Ruined The Franchise

In 2005, Robert Rodriguez translated one of the few R-rated comic book films to the big screen, Sin City. Starring Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, and Jessica Alba, the Frank Miller graphic novel comes to life with a collection of neo-noir stories that follows a mysterious salesman, a musclebound vigilante, a grizzled cop, and an ex-prostitute. The film was met with critical praise and managed to make a solid return at the box office, garnering nearly $160 million worldwide. Then, it would take over ten years for a sequel to arrive. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For saw the return of several prime characters from the first film while Eva Green’s Ava Lord and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Johnny are just some of the notable additions to the cast.

From the offset, the marketing of this film indicated that the studio didn’t have the most confidence in A Dame To Kill For. That notion was backed up when the critics mostly trashed the film, leaving the rotten tomatoes score at 42%. The film was finally released on August 22, 2014 and it bombed with an opening of nearly $7 million. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For would end it’s run at making nearly $40 million worldwide. Since then, there have been no discussions on bringing another sequel to the big screen. Here are several reasons why Sin City: A Dame To Kill For effectively ruined the franchise.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Came A Little Too Late

Nine years is a very long time in the movie world. When the first film was released in 2005, Sin City stood out in a good way because it was something that was rarely seen on the big screen. Inside of capitalizing on the film’s popularity, the sequel went through massive delays and issues that held it back until 2014. During that time, films such as 300, Watchmen, and Avatar had pushed the boundaries of 3D technology. When A Dame To Kill For came out, it was no longer the cool kid on the block and the lukewarm reception surely didn’t help its chances at attracting audiences.

The Sequel Was A Highly Disappointing Film

Overall, A Dame To Kill For wasn’t a BAD film. However, it was a very, very disappointing one. The main bright spot of the film was the story, A Dame To Kill For, in which Eva Green plays the classic fem fatale. The story is pedestrian but Green’s show-stealing performance makes the plot worth watching. Seeing the talented actress light up the screen as the evil Ava Lord makes you wish that she was a focal point of the movie. The Long Bad Night featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a solid story with a very anti-climatic ending. Levitt plays the cocky Johnny with a nice swagger and poise; however, his abrupt death via Senator Roarke was baffling. There’s nothing wrong with giving the villain a win, but the tension building towards that big moment failed to at least give Johnny a fighting chance before his sudden death.

The other two stories, Just Another Saturday Night and Nancy’s Last Dance are fine for what they are, but the climax of not showcasing Roarke’s demise was pure criminal. Roarke has been the big bad for the last two movies, so Rodriguez not showing the villain finally getting his comeuppance was a huge mistake. With the bad outweighing the good, the film’s word of mouth was basically nonexistent and the continuous date changes for A Dame To Kill For surely didn’t instill enthusiasm for moviegoers. There’s no guarantee that Sin City 2 would’ve been a success if the film was critically praised, but the lackluster reviews surely didn’t inspire audiences to buy a movie ticket.

Robert Rodriguez Doesn’t Have The Strongest Financial Track Record

Robert Rodriguez is one of the most unique filmmakers in Hollywood. In fact, the veteran filmmaker was a game-changer when he came into the scene with El Mariachi, a $7,000 feature that be would become a massive success. However, there’s no denying that Rodriguez isn’t a name associated with blockbusters. For the most part, Rodriguez’s films get high marks from critics and fans, but the 53-year-old’s movies are the example of niche films that only work for select audiences.

The only films that have crossed the $100 million domestic mark for Rodriguez are Spy Kids ($112.7) and Spy Kids 3: Game Over ($111.8). I don’t think Rodriguez has truly captured the magic with mainstream moviegoers. While his career is far from a flop, his lack of mainstream appeal is notable despite his vast array of good films. When you’re watching a Robert Rodriguez film, you know what you’re getting into; Blood, violence, and over-the-top madness. Based on the box office numbers, many of the audiences just didn’t care for a second go-around with Sin City, which didn’t break any new ground storytelling or visual-wise.

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