Sin City, the 2005 film based on Frank Miller's comics, received rave reviews, not only in the pages of this magazine but from the late Roger Ebert, who gave it a full four stars. It was a pulpy triumph that married director Robert Rodriguez's penchant for sadistic violence to a groundbreaking aesthetic of luminous black and white.
The long-awaited sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, looks very much cut from the same cloth. There's a stacked cast—Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Eva Green, to name a few—and everyone's smoking, drenched in blood, or delivering hard-boiled dialogue with distant looks in their eyes. It all looks wonderful. I can't quite explain the plot, mostly because it's unclear from the trailer, but also because these films juggle four or five character threads, and if you're seeing Sin City movies for a coherent narrative you're probably doing it wrong. A Dame to Kill For is out Aug. 22.