The Black Dahlia (2006)

I’m really beginning to think that Brian De Palma may be one of the most overrated directors of all time.  I’m getting this impression from the films of his that I’ve seen, of course.  Scarface is an overrated average film, The Untouchables doesn’t age well, Blow Out was very good but not timeless, and Carrie was decent, but the man doesn’t deserve as much praise as has been heaped on him for decades.  Also, it has been years since I’ve seen Mission to Mars, Femme Fatale, Snakes Eyes or Mission: Impossible so it would be unfair of me to include them in this discussion.  One last note, the last time I saw Carlito’s Way, I thought it was truly great, so there ya go, I am decently well versed in De Palma’s most recent filmography.

Anyways, long story short, this movie is a meandering and boring beautiful mess.  It features many trademark De Palma camera moves, some of them completely inexplicable.  They literally jar you out of the movie, make you wonder aloud “Why would you do that?”  There are some great actors in this movie, but for the most part they’re just wasted or given complete misdirection.  Mia Kirshner and Rose McGowan might have been the best performances in the movie, and totaled up, they probably don’t amount to 15 minutes of screen time.

De Palma should have gone back and re-watched L.A. Confidential, or maybe even watch it for the first time, because that movie is excellent and would have been the perfect tone for this film.  Not the histrionics of Aaron Eckhart – whom I normally enjoy – or the cardboard cutout of Josh Hartnett, nor the deer in headlights stare of Scarlett Johansson.  Hell, “L.A. Noire” made this case more interesting than this movie.  Now I want to watch Zodiac again to see what David Fincher would have done with The Black Dahlia case.

1 / 5


About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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