While several of my fellow Aggressors didn’t care for the newest installment of Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, I enjoyed it enough for all of them. Because, as my title here states, I feel it was the greatest modern Batman film this side of Keaton. There are time jumps in the film, so be prepared for a “is this before or after the other one?” moments. The beautiful noir and sensational hyper-violent vignettes hold true to the graphic novel, albeit not as elegantly as Robert Rodriguez’s first film.
6. Josh Brolin is the Batman we’ve always wanted. Remember that Josh Brolin was one of the last three names mentioned to play Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman? I was one of the vocal supporters of this plan, because of Jonah Hex and Gangster Squad. As Dwight (the role played by Clive Owen in the first Sin City), we get to see everything we would have had in Brolin’s Dark Knight. He is gritty and angry, older but cracks skulls alongside Mickey Rourke’s Marv. He is constantly trying to keep his inner demons at bay, avoiding all the darkness that made him who he is. (I am rather glad he ended up as Thanos, though.) There is of course the deadly damsel in distress he tries to rescue, an amorous addiction that ultimately leads to murder and betrayal (Ava, played by Eva Green). Remind you of anyone?
5. Eva Green is the best Batman Lady since Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. At first, I imaged Eva’s Ava as Catwoman, pulling all the strings of the underworld while playing the sweet and innocent lady in her home life. But then, as the bathing started, I realized she was Talia al Ghul. I won’t spoil too much since the film is in it’s first weekend, but you’ll see what I mean. And really, every entry on this list should be “Eva Green’s boobs.”
4. Jessica Alba’s Nancy turns into a Nolan-Joker and Harley Quinn. She really does. Nancy is haunted by the death of her protector Hartigan, and loses her pretty little mind during the course of her story. She hallucinates him, sees him in her mirror, drowns her sorrows every night and starts to go down the crazy path. One night, she decides to smash her face into a mirror, and starts to carve up her beautiful skin, ala scarred Joker. But, instead of taking on a mission she knows she’ll never accomplish herself, she uses her sweet and imploring nature to recruit Marv to be her muscle, her crazy big muscle. One of my favorite lines is when Marv tells her she looks hot in her scars and leather.
3. The amazing collection of the Sin City/Gotham rogues gallery of villains and secondary heroes. My hats off once again to the amazing way the makeup and visual effects team did their magic, because Stacy Keach’s Wallenquist looked BADASS. He was like a Clayface with higher vocabulary. And Marv. Really, you can’t get much better than the brooding, jacket obsessed harrier Mickey Rourke plays so well. Christopher Meloni’s Lt. Mort was like the young Jim Gordon I’m expecting to see in Gotham, Ray Liotta’s Joey is the corrupt Wayne Enterprises board member we’ve become accustomed to getting the crap beaten out of. Christopher Lloyd’s heroin shooting doctor is the Riddler/Mad Hatter I’ve always wanted. Lady Gaga has a cameo as well, which worked, even though I feel they should have toned down her eyebrows. Rosario Dawson is….well, I loved Gail in the first film, but I feel they didn’t do her justice this time. And also the absence of Devon Aoki as Miho was keenly felt.
2. Powers Boothe is the second greatest Lex Luthor in a Batman story we’ll ever have. Yes, I did just throw in Superman’s nemesis in my Batman narrative, but that’s not entirely out of canon. I can’t help but think of Deadwood anytime I see Boothe in films where he is a kingpin of sometype anymore, yelling at the whores and trying to put his competition out of business by any means necessary. And tell me, after you’ve seen the movie, that Boothe wouldn’t be a badass Kryptonite corrupted Lex when he really snaps.
1. Joseph Gordon Levitt is the Nightwing/Batman Beyond we’ve always wanted in a movie, and kind of Two-Face, too. This one is highly subjective, because I frakking love Batman Beyond, and after the overwhelming disappointment of all three of Nolan’s Batflicks, the only saving point for me was JGL and the possibility that he’d become either Nightwing or the Terry McGuinness-Batman. Which of course, isn’t ever going to happen. But, his Johnny is the ass kicking lucky boy who could easily take over the Bat-everything like Terry does in the 90’s cartoon/current comics. And with his coin tossing, I see a bit of the ol’ Harvey Dent in him, too. MAKE THAT HAPPEN, SNYDER, maybe I’ll get on board with your JLA.
Think of Basin City as Gotham, and chances are you’ll enjoy it too.