One for the sin bin
SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
★★ Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. Starring Mickey Rourke, Eva Green, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Lady Gaga 16 cert, 102 min
Lights down. Blood on the moon. The screen blows up like a hooker’s Christmas tree during a September power surge. Here’s Rodriguez and Miller hopped up on comic books and raw celluloid. It’s been nine long years, and a stench of death mixes with the ratty waves of desperation. These guys are going down.
And so forth. Robert Rodriguez’ first take on Frank Miller’s sub-noir comic strip passed the time gruesomely enough. The stories were quite nippy enough and the waves of pastiche played themselves out before they outstayed their welcome. The efforts to evade accusations of misogyny via Amazon assaults – look, some women are homicidal too! – stimulated more amusement than offense.
Nearly a decade later, the follow-up seems dreadfully short of original energies. More than anything else, one is reminded of those ancient TV commercials for Silver- mints. Like Steve Silvermint – the “cool, clean hero” – Bruce Willis Josh Brolin and Mickey Rourke inhabit a world that appears to be constructed by people who once talked to somebody who’d seen a film noir, but who have never actually viewed one themselves. The efforts to ape the look of Miller’s comics are certainly successful. But what’s the point of that?
The only person who does come out of the exercise with pride intact – particularly good news, given the amount of gratuitous nudity undergone – is the reliably charismatic and fearsomely angular Eva Green. More a force of nature than an actor, she does enough as the titular dame to make it imperative that somebody put her in a worthwhile neo-noir sometime soon.
Eva Green has the angry heart of a wolverine and the cold, desperate eyes of a rattlesnake trapped in bourbon bottle. Get out before the sun hits the blood-drenched skyline. Blah, blah, blah!
Broadly speaking: Eva Green