Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is extremely easy on the eyeballs.
Chisel away – scratch that, you’d need a sledgehammer to blast away the Frank Miller graphic novel stylized special fx – but once you do, what you find underneath is some genuine heart-felt emotion from some top-notch actors.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, and Allstate pitch man Dennis Haysbert all turn in square-jawed, uber-macho performances.
But, and this may be a gender thing, the dames do steal the show.
French beauty Eva Green spends much of the film luxuriating either in a tub or a swimming pool, and that’s not horrible. She’s diabolical, duplicitous, and downright delicious.
If she is the dame to kill for, then Jessica Alba surely is the dame to die for.
Returning as the heart-broken, whip-cracking, bootie-smacking stripper with a chipper on her shoulder, Alba pouts and sneers her way to a pretty satisfying show down with the picture’s number one villain, sour puss Powers Boothe.
While Alba will not be confused with Meryl Streep any time soon, she’s not a bad actor at all. In fact, she’s pretty good. Pun intended. I mean, would you bother taking acting lessons if you were that gorgeous?
Robert Rodriguez’ best film, in my Lars book, is still his now legendary first, El Mariachi. The same year – 1992 – Quentin Tarantino gave us his best film, Reservoir Dogs. These two filmmakers will forever be linked, and they are the very best of friends. This many years later, I’ve come to appreciate Rodriguez’ particular brand of gratuitously grandiose violence over Tarantino’s condescendingly, have-your-cake-and-eat-it-to, pandering violence.
Rodriguez has a fetish that he is constantly trying to assuage through his expression. He’s cool and he owns it. Tarantino has an obnoxious craving for hipster approval that leaves him unchecked at the door. He’s not cool and it drives him bonkers.
I liked this Sin City more than I liked the original Sin City. This one more stream lined. More focused. And did I mention Eva Green spends a ridiculous amount of time in various dipping pools?