I liked the book a lot. I like Brian De Palma a lot even when he has seemingly gone off the deep end. The movie was fine. Nothing amazing but worth a watch if you are either a De Palma or a James Ellroy fan.
The first hour stayed true to the novel. The second hour changed things around a bit, not necessarily for the better. Things felt kind of stiff to me but that isn't necessarily De Palma's fault. I mean, one can only hope to get so much from Josh Hartnett. And Hillary Swank is really not attractive and it is kind of annoying that she's supposed to be playing such a seductress. Not to mention, one of the key elements of the plot is that her character is supposed to look just like the murdered Black Dahlia. But neither actress looks anything like the other so it is pretty ridiculous in that regard.
Still, there are many thrilling De Palmaisms visually throughout the film to make it worthwhile. And I'm always a fan of looking at Scarlett Johansson. I just was hoping for a more twisted take on the pretty twisted novel. Instead, De Palma seemingly played it a little safe with this film and it suffers as a result.
Directed by Brian De Palma
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