Marlowe: “This is L.A., people are on the make.”
It’s not February without Liam Neeson hunting someone down and killing them. This time he tries Noir on for size as he follows the fingerprints of a long list of famous actors like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum and James Garner by playing the 1930’s sleuth, Philip Marlowe.
The brooding, hardboiled detective character was created by author Raymond Chandler, but this Marlowe film is based on The Black-eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black. It’s set in 1939 Los Angeles and our private eye ends up caught in the crossfire between mother and daughter as he’s on the lookout for the ex-lover of a beautiful heiress played by Diane Kruger. Neeson is no stranger to the cop turned detective role in this, his 100th film. While he can still beat up multiple men half his age all in one punch, Liam utters once again, “I’m getting too old for this.” making him a rather worse for wear gumshoe.
Marlowe has a seasoned cast also including Jessica Lange, Danny Huston and Alan Cumming, but isn’t salty enough. The characters smoke like chimneys and speak in cliches. The camera work, music and cadence are true to the genre, everything else though is just “fair enough”.
Give Neeson credit for continuing to try to please his fans and tackling a slightly different style, but Marlowe is just mediocre…the reason for another strategically placed February film.
My husband, Ricky, didn’t get past the first 30 minutes of this just under two hour movie. Too many characters are introduced too quickly. He couldn’t keep up. For that reason, Marlowe gets one 👁 open or a 5 out 10.
Marlowe is in theaters and streaming.