Raymond Chandler’s well-known detective Philip Marlowe doesn’t fairly come again to life on this new film from Neil Jordan, tailored from the novel of the identical title by Booker prize winner John Banville, writing beneath his style pen title Benjamin Black. There are some droll touches and the prewar Los Angeles manufacturing design appears to be like good. However listening to the dialogue typically looks like wading by treacle. The wisecracks fizzle, and Liam Neeson, within the main function, shouldn’t be precisely on his most dynamic type. The best way the character has been conceived appears to intensify an exhausted worldweariness and, whereas I’m positive that Neeson might have given the half among the wiry energy of a Humphrey Bogart or Elliot Gould, he by some means at all times appears to be like 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) needs him to seek out an ex-lover who – a bit like Graham Greene’s Harry Lime – could have faked his grisly dying in an vehicle accident, and should since have been glimpsed in Mexico. Marlowe should cope with plenty of 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, akin to Floyd Hanson (Danny Huston), the dead-eyed supervisor of the ritzy personal membership outdoors which the disputed corpse was discovered, and easy businessman Lou Hendricks (Alan Cumming) who, like Dorothy, tries to rent Marlowe himself. There’s a bit little bit of enjoyable and curiosity alongside the way in which and Lange has some enjoyable along with her eccentric persona, however this feels under-energised.