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Michael Medved

'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For' is a sequel that far surpasses the original

The on-screen follow-up to "Sin City" is in theaters this weekend and it's one of those sequels that, in every way, is preferable to the first film.

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is a neo-noir film based on a series of graphic novels by Frank Miller, who gained fame for creating the imagery that became the "300" series. Miller has acquired a cult-following of his own, and this time he joins Robert Rodriquez as co-director.

The first film was very successful at the box office and it was visually interesting, but it felt entirely excessive and self-indulgent.

"A Dame to Kill For," however, is a much better film. It's an undeniable artistic achievement. Presented in black-and-white with only splashes of color, it's visually full of splendor, amazement, and dazzling technique.

The film deploys its color technique amazingly. You find yourself in that dark, black-and-white, neo-noir setting of this city and the Dame to Kill For, played by Eva Green, lights up the screen with her red lipstick and electric blue eyes.

There are very talented performers in the movie, including some of the most beautiful women in the world. But it's the pointless violence and the depravity in each one of these interlocking stories that's brutal. It's supposed to be hell and that's my problem with the movie.

I'm even surprised they didn't have to go to NC-17 for the rating, but they managed to keep it R.

It gets 2.5 stars from me because I'm blown away by the way people are blown away.

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