Sin City was a special product for its time. The popular neo-noir comics made a big splash in the early 90s and in 2005, a feature-length film helmed by Robert Rodriguez was officially released. In a cinema world where the combination of anti-heroes and stylized violence was scarce, Sin City won fans and critics over thanks to its unique style that brought the colorful comic book strip to life. Whether you were rooting along with Marv as he slowly cut off the head of a man who killed the mysterious prostitute or enjoyed the madness of a grizzled cop ripping a child killer to pieces, Sin City introduced a dark and violent world with a twisted (yet fun) perspective. The film would do big business at the box office and naturally, talks of a sequel began.
However, five years passed, and the world of Sin City wasn’t so unique anymore. The showcase of anti-heroes was starting to increase at this time and the rise of superheroes began to dominate cinema. Multiple delays didn’t exactly help instill confidence in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and when the feature was finally released in August 2014, it came out to little buzz and lackluster reviews. While Eva Green chewed up the scenery as the devilishly evil and money-hungry Ava Lord, everything else paled in comparison to the first film. It lacked the spark and cohesiveness of the original with stories often ending abruptly such as Senator Roark putting a bullet in Johnny’s head, and the neo-noir aspects of the overall film just didn’t have the same flair as the 2005 feature. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For bombed at the box office, and any hopes of a third installment were destroyed following the failure of the sequel. It’s been nearly ten years since A Dame To Kill For and while there were talks of a television series, there’s been absolutely no discussion in regards to a final film that will complete the trilogy.
It’s understandable why a Sin City 3 is extremely slim at this point. When I say that there was no buzz for the sequel, it’s astonishing how time ultimately killed the excitement after a well-received first film. It wasn’t just the fact that Sin City felt unique and special for its time, the stories in the first entry were generally exciting. Sin City was crackling with energy thanks to the colorful characters that inhabited the shady and cold noir world. In some ways, Sin City helped revived a dead genre and was a twisted morality play on the superhero world itself. Heads were chopped off, hearts were ripped out, and gunshots were fired, there was a sense of coolness that came with the original film that was seemingly lacking in the second feature. However, we’re not here to dwell on what could’ve or should’ve been. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is in the history books but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be the end of the story.
Sure, the world of movies and television is now drenched with anti-heroes, but the neo-noir comic book style can easily set the film apart in a good way. The third entry just needs a cohesive story. That’s what ultimately killed the second film. There’s still plenty of richness that can be depicted in a corrupt society known as Sin City. The Family Values or Booze, Broads, and Bullets stories can still be explored in the upcoming chapter; however, there’s nothing wrong with penning an original arc for the final series. The characters of Marv, Nancy, or Dwight don’t particularly need to return. Of at the very least, the same actors who played them. There’s an interesting story to tell with the aging characters still dealing with a world of deceit, as Sin City doesn’t just have to be about sex, violence, and hookers. It can be about how this dark world has drained the soul out of them, and the repercussions of the sins that they’ve committed. There are still interesting themes at play that demand to be told and given the long time gap from A Dame To Kill For, it actually works in favor of a potential feature.
At the moment, the television series is going through developmental hell. There’s still no set date for when the spin-off will arrive and given the conflict that’s brewing between Frank Miller and Stephen L’Heureux over the rights to the series, it’ll be a while before we see anything Sin City related in the media landscape. Still, Sin City 3 deserves to fix the lackluster second entry, but more importantly, there’s still an interesting and complex story to tell in the Frank Miller graphic novel.Robert Rodriguez
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