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Marcus Flor vs. The Black Dahlia (2006)

Sometimes filmmakers can really fumble a concept, as they did with The Black Dahlia.

From everything I knew about this story before hand, I was expecting a movie about the old-fashioned, 40s culture being shocked by this senseless, motiveless murder. What I got was a convoluted, tone-deaf replay of 40s and 50s detective flicks. While it's fine for a movie to take you by surprise, this felt like a total deviation from what should've been.

The film spends little of its two-hour running time on the actual Dahlia murder, and most of it on the messy conspiracy involving the two main detectives. In the end, they eventually tie the big mystery back to the titular murder, but it feels very tacked on. It was almost like the movie forgot what its point was, and made a last-minute scramble to stay on-brand.

What definitely didn't help is the almost cocaine-fuelled pace of the plot. Every shot went by incredibly fast, giving the audience little time to process what was happening. I think the 2x speed was supposed to make the film feel "snappier," but it really made it feel twice as long.

I know I shouldn't let my expectations limit my viewing experience, and put a movie in a box. However, when a movie surprises you in all the wrong ways, I'd say feeling let down is justified. I'd only recommend this if you're desperate to kill two hours. This one is a Bad.


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