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(Review originally written at 19 October 2007)

This is one rather odd unusual movie. It mixes several movie elements such as comedy, musical and film-noir. It's however one mix that doesn't really work out and comes across as an odd one.

It's also most certainly due to the confusing script that mixes truth and fiction and uses lots of flashback elements that also mixes past with 'present'. What is this movie really about? What story does it try to tell? Exactly what is the point of this entire movie and what does it try to achieve.

The movie obviously tries to be an homage to the '50's and the '50's movie genre but it does so without having much style of its own. The clothes are right, the dialogs are right but the atmosphere really isn't, which is of course the most important element. The musical elements could had helped to let the movie work out better but the movie chooses to use evergreens instead new, specifically for this movie written songs. Also the fact that the actors are obviously play-backing to the real singers is a reason why it just doesn't ever work out in the movie. The movie tries to be stylish and fun but it's perhaps trying to hard, which causes it to work ineffective. This movie gave me the feeling that a different director could had still let this movie work out.

The movie obviously doesn't try to be serious but it does this by actually having also very little humor in it. Yeah, you can say that this movie is a black comedy but this movie really isn't the best or most effective example in its genre.

Too bad that the movie didn't really worked out, since it had a great and surprising cast. It was Robert Downey Jr's. first big role after his drug addiction. He of course got the role through his good friend Mel Gibson who is a producer of this movie. Downey Jr. does a good job and he once more shows how a great actor he is and how well he is capable of carrying a movie. Mel Gibson himself also plays a surprising role underneath a lot of make-up effects. The movie further more also features Adrien Brody in his first role since his Oscar-winning performance in "The Pianist". It really wasn't his greatest career choice.

Has it's moments but in the end this movie leaves nothing more than a pointless and confusing impression.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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