Raymond Chandler’s well-known detective Philip Marlowe doesn’t fairly come again to life on this new film from Neil Jordan, tailored from a novel by Booker prize winner John Banville, writing below his style pen identify Benjamin Black. There are some droll touches and the prewar Los Angeles manufacturing design seems good. However listening to the dialogue typically seems like wading by treacle.
The wisecracks fizzle, and Liam Neeson, within the main position, isn’t precisely on his most dynamic kind. The best way the character has been conceived appears to intensify an exhausted worldweariness and, whereas I’m certain that Neeson might have given the half a number of the wiry energy of a Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould, he someway at all times seems as if he’d like nothing greater than a sit-down with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
It’s 1939 and Marlowe is approached by the time-honoured shady woman: Clare Cavendish (Diane Kruger) desires him to search out an ex-lover who – just a little like Graham Greene’s Harry Lime – could have faked his grisly loss of life in an vehicle accident, and should since have been glimpsed in Mexico. Marlowe should cope with numerous difficult characters, together with Clare’s rich and overbearing mom Dorothy Quincannon (Jessica Lange), a former film actress whose new husband (Mitchell Mullen) is a creepy Joe Kennedy determine with a fortune constructed by bootlegging; he now owns a film studio and is ambassador to Nice Britain.
Marlowe additionally encounters individuals who need him to go away, resembling Floyd Hanson (Danny Huston), the dead-eyed supervisor of the ritzy personal membership exterior which the disputed corpse was discovered, and easy businessman Lou Hendricks (Alan Cumming) who, like Dorothy, tries to rent Marlowe himself. There’s just a little little bit of enjoyable and curiosity alongside the way in which and Lange has some enjoyable together with her eccentric persona, however this feels under-energised.