The Black Dahlia

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Just like my last review, Burn After Reading, I was giving this film a second chance. I will say the result didn’t change much from what I thought of it in the theatre. Since it was directed by Brian De Palma (Mission Impossible), I expected so much more. The theatrical trailer for this movie was so misleading. The trailer really sells the Black Dahlia murder, and the film really doesn’t focus on that at all. The focus of the film seems to center around the two cops that were at the crime scene, Josh Hartnet (Pearl Harbor) and Aaron Eckart (Thank You for Smoking) and their relationship with Scarlett Johanson (The Other Boleyn Girl). Before any murder even takes place, the story seems to be more worried about creating a boxing rivalry between Eckhart and Hartnet.

As far as the cast, there are a lot of big names in this film and none of them seem to deliver. Josh Hartnet seems to look as disgusted during the film as I was watching the film…FOR A SECOND TIME! I even thought the saving grace for me might be Scarlett Johanson, just because she is in it (Just as Daniel Craig and Adrien Brody are my better half’s saving graces), but she seemed to just be in the frame reading lines. And then there is Hilary Swank (Best Actress Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry), what was she thinking? She does ad some interest during the family dinner scene, but from nothing she did other than the fact that she took Hartnet over to her house for dinner where her mother and father seem to go a bit ballistic.

If this film had a title of  Boxing Cops or LA Crime, I might have been more forgiving about this film going all over the place, in every direction except the way it should have gone. Being billed as a murder mystery, I was starving for information about the crime and details. The Black Dahlia has so much creepiness about it, and is such a bizarre macabre murder, you don’t have to tell all of the side stories. The film was titled The Black Dahlia, and to see less than a story of the Black Dahlia murder is highly disappointing.