Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers gets a colorful upgrade in his latest installment of "At the Movies," mimicking the moody red-white-and-black backdrop of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Travers still gets a thrill out of the visual splendor conjured by co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller in this newly released sequel to the acclaimed 2005 noir-thriller. But he's less impressed with the film's confusing storyline, which introduces a number of bizarre plot points and re-hashes old ideas.
Travers starts off praising the original film, calling it "damn-near a landmark." "It was something I had never seen before," he says. But the sequel isn't exactly a flick to kill for: "You meet an old love again you felt so much about once, and you see him and her again and say, 'What happened?' And that was the feeling I got from this. There was a lot of stuff moving in ways I didn't understand."
Travers can't deny his love for the film's visual style (now upgraded to 3D), and he adds that he's "always happy to see" Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green, who makes her debut in the franchise. Ultimately, though, Travers finds the sequel "lazy," and he's put off by its confusing narrative (including Brolin taking over the role of Dwight McCarthy, previously played by Clive Owen).
"I think what you're going to do when you see this movie is say, 'Huh? What?' a lot," Travers says. "And that's not what I was looking for. I was looking to get lost in another world, and I just got lost."