Sin City: A Dame to Kill for 3D review

Belated comic book sequel finds more depth in its stereoscopic visuals than in its storytelling

Almost a decade after they startled audiences with their first collaboration, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and comic book icon Frank Miller have teamed up for a second collection of sordid, noir-infused tales dredged up from the depths of Miller's imagination.

Just Another Saturday Night finds Marv (Mickey Rourke) waking up on a deserted highway and piecing together the events that led him there, while The Long Bad Night follows the misadventures of a cocky young gambler (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who learns the true cost of beating Senator Roark (Powers Boothe) in a game of poker.

Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin, replacing Clive Owen) makes his return in A Dame to Kill For, a tale set several years before the events of the first film, which finds him caught up with the murderous machinations of a former lover (Eva Green). Finally, Nancy's Last Dance finds the titular stripper (Jessica Alba) haunted by the ghost of Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and planning her revenge.

Although it lacks the stylistic freshness of the first Sin City and not all of the stories quite click into gear, there's still fun to be had with this belated sequel, particularly the standout title story, thanks to Eva Green's wonderfully predatory femme fatale.

Picture: A Dame to Kill For... may want to plunge you into the depths of depravity, but it does so with plenty of panache thanks to a pristine AVC-encoded 1.85:1 digital-to-digital 1080p encode. The black-and white-visuals are as crisp and contrasty as you could wish for, which allows the occasional pockets of colour to burst from the screen.

For our money, the stereoscopic presentation (which gets a disc of its own) is even better. The stark stylisation and total artificiality of the film's aesthetic allows Rodriguez and Miller to play around extensively with the 3D image. Negative and positive parallax effects are both in plentiful supply, giving the widescreen picture an intense sense of depth that moves beyond the limits of the screen with ease.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Lionsgate's Blu-ray arrives with an enjoyably aggressive DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound mix. Dialogue is handled flawlessly, while more action-packed material – such as Dwight and Marv's raid on the Lord mansion (Chapter 3) – showcase a wide dynamic range and convincing use of positional effects. Powerful stuff.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Bonus bits take the form of a 30-min Q&A with the cast and crew; interviews with Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon Levitt; and a pair of featurettes about the stunts and make-up FX. Unusually all of the extras are repeated across both the 2D and 3D platters.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: The film itself is rather hit or miss, but this Blu-ray serves up stereoscopic visuals to, erm, kill for

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 3D, Lionsgate, Region B BD, £28 Approx