Director: Brian DeCubellis
Writers: Brian DeCubellis (screenplay), Colin Harrison (novel)
Stars: Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Campbell Scott
Why I Watched it: I love a good mystery, that’s my reason.
Random Thoughts: The film’s original title was Manhattan Nocturne same as the novel which it’s based written by Colin Harrison. I have to say Manhattan Night is a bad title for this movie, it makes it sound like a romantic comedy which it is not.
What I liked: I’m a sucker for a good film noir mystery, where the flawed P.I. tries to solve a case that the case doesn’t want solved. Here we have a reporter not a P.I. and yes they do make a point that reporters working for papers now have it really hard, the damn internet don’t you know. The film does a nice job of slowly showing the main characters and also showing that a major point of the story will be if the family man reporter Adrien Brody will fall for the women who wants him to find her husband’s killer.
The acting is pretty good here, Brody is fine he can play it grey fairly well. The supporting cast is good though Jennifer Beals doesn’t have a lot to do, playing the wife role in this kind of movie is thankful but I have to say it’s great that she is still out there and doing different roles, she’s always solid. The atmosphere and mood is pretty good and the big city is shot well, dark and all in compassing.
What I Didn’t Like: The pacing is very slow and the mystery is alright till you start thinking about it, this is more about character, about people who are damaged and who damage other people. It’s more of a dark character study and I would have been fine with that but the characters are fleshed out enough. Campbell Scott is really wasted here, I could make heads or tails of his character, he’s important cause he’s the one dead/missing and he’s seen in flashbacks.
He’s got issues but since we never really get to know him we have no opinion of him, is he bad, is he evil, we don’t know and he becomes a plot point a device to keep the plot going. The whole will the married guy cheat on his wife with the beautiful client is a very old cliche which could work and has worked but here it falls flat as we know right off the bat where this is going.
I would assume the writers and director wanted this to seem complex but it comes off messy and really unclear what story they want to tell. I wish Brody and Strahovski had some chemistry some heat between them cause we’re left thinking well he slept with her cause she’s pretty, I’m sorry I need more than that.
Final Thoughts: Not a bad film just not very compelling, I wish the main story and arc had more to it, I never felt invested in the story or these characters and as a mystery it really falls short, a couple of the twists are really silly. A missed opportunity for me here.