Once again, I foolishly inflated my expectations for this film.
I had good reason too though.
Brian DePalma directed, he of "Scarface", "The Untouchables", "Carlito's Way", and the first "Mission Impossible" (which was good, they've all sucked since).
Cast included Scarlett Johannson, Aaron Eckhart (who was great in "Thank You For Smoking"), and Hillary Swank. Josh Hartnett is awful IMO, but I actually liked his last role, in "Lucky Number Slevin".
And the movie was about one of California's most infamous unsolved murders ever, that of a famous actress in the 1940's.
Sounds like a recipe for a good film, right?
It was terrible.
The movie was just poorly put together. It's one of those films that you want to turn off while watching, but refrain, thinking better things have to be coming. Only to be left disappointed at the end. The film tries to follow along the same lines of the excellent 1997 film noir "L.A. Confidential", but fails miserably.
The main plot line is confusing, and not well sustained. You learn little of The Dahlia herself, and there are so many meaningless and unentertaining subplots interjected into the film, you're left with a bumbled mess. The 1st 45 minutes have absolutely nothing to do with the last 75 minutes of the film, other than poorly attempting to build up the relationship between Eckhart and Hartnett (LA partner homiscide cops). The movie has no flow.
The acting is shaky as well. Eckhart was good, again. Hartnett was a train wreck. That pretty boy trying to pull off a 1940 LA homiscide cop is laughable. Swank, not one of her better roles. The acting and the accent both seemed forced. She looked good in the film though. Scarlett was gorgeous as always, but it appears they forced her into this role, and it came off plasticky. Not her best work.
Moral of the story: When Mitch has bad vibes, trust him.