11 April 2007 | pfgpowell-1
Black humour of a kind rarely seen in mainstream Hollywood
As usual before adding my two ha'porth-worth of comment, I looked at other comments (including Roger Ebert). And, although I didn't read all of them (there are very many), I was surprised that none I read seemed to pick up what was perfectly obvious to me: this is a very funny film, but done in a deadpan style. So deadpan, in fact, that I'm not surprised that might be news to many. I have, coincidentally, recently been buying up on DVD quite a few classic film noir (Build My Gallows High, The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers) and like everyone else thought that the era of film noir had come and gone and that such films were no longer being produced. Well, blow me if I'm not very wrong: this is quintessential film noir (though done in colour and with the proviso that most film noir is not intended to be funny). It would be pointless to recount the plot, but if you liked all those classic Mitchum/Bogart/Van Helin/Edwrad g Robinson etc films, you will love this. Sean Penn never disappoints. By the way the very final twist in the plot had me laughing out loud. Go for it: you won't be disappointed.