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Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (R)

Action/Adventure 102 August 22, 2014
By Amy Nicholson
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn't the kind of guns-and-glory thriller that ends with the hero putting down his pistol and getting a high five. In fact, there are no heroes, only men of differing levels of egomania and rage, from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's cardsharp, who can't stop pressing his luck to Josh Brolin's hair-trigger private investigator, who can't control his temper. Then there's Mickey Rourke's shovel-faced brute, Marv, a force of destruction, who kills for fun and occasionally his own hard-to-define moral code.

And I've got one piece of advice if you're a woman in Sin City: move. Your other choices are being victims, hookers, or betrayed wives, and the line between the three is as invisible as a silk stocking. In Frank Miller's comics, your best career option is, er, being a popular stripper. But even the town's best dancer, Nancy (Jessica Alba), is miserable. Alba -- a lovely but rather listless actress -- has been asked to shoulder Sin City's emotional arc. The role needs a performer with violence in her eyes. When Alba glares at the camera, you just want to give her a hug and say, "It's okay -- we know you're trying your best." The miscasting isn't her fault. It's Rodriguez's, a symptom of Sin City's larger worldview that looks matter more than depth.

Eva Green, meanwhile, is sexy, funny, dangerous, and wild -- everything the film needed to be -- and whenever she's not on the screen, we feel her absence as though the sun has blinked off. She strips off more than Alba, yet she's never just eye candy -- she's a full meal.
Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez, Stephen L'Heureux, Aaron Kaufman, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergei Bespalov Dimension Films

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