The Black Dahlia

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The Black Dahlia
Review (5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In The Black Dahlia, Officer Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Sergeant Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) are former foes turned best friends, who fight crime, do a bit of boxing and smoke a helluva lot of cigarettes. Bucky spends a lot of his free time with Lee and his beautiful girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson) and the trio seem inseparable. One night after a routine surveillance assignment gone wrong, the boys find a horribly mutilated body lying in an open field. The body is cut in half with medical precision and the gruesome act soon becomes the focus of the Los Angeles media. The murder of a wannabe actress is dubbed "The Black Dahlia". Bucky and Lee are assigned the case and the pair become deeply involved in an investigation that becomes much more complicated, confusing and dangerous than they could have ever imagined, and it threatens to destroy their relationship. The Black Dahlia is directed by Brian De Palma and also stars the likes of Hilary Swank, Fiona Shaw, Rose McGowan and one of the guys who was in Braveheart.

The Black Dahlia is a stylish movie with a real 1940's or 50's feel to it. The movie starts out with a bang and interest builds as the dead body is discovered. It looks like we're in for one shin-dig of a murder-mystery, but that's where The Black Dahlia seems to fall flat on its face. You begin to realize the characters are shallow and uninteresting. You don't feel the urgency to solve the murder or the supposed public interest that the real 1947 Black Dahlia murder generated - an unsolved murder that has been called one of the world's most famous cold cases. The movie seems to be all over the place with several little sub-plots developing - one involving Bucky and his strange relationship with both Lee and his gal, another with Bucky and his father, another with Bucky and a girl (Swank) who looks very much like the Dahlia, yet another involving Lee and some misappropriations with some of his old cases, and yet another involving the Swank character's oddball family. The movie just seems to be a jumble of stories and it gets to the point where the Dahlia murder doesn't even seem like it's the main focus. And then there's the ending, which has to be one of the strangest and confusing solutions to an L.A. murder-mystery that I have seen since OJ got acquitted.

I guess in the end, I just found The Black Dahlia to be a very average movie that features an average story and average performances. I have heard a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding this movie but I can almost guarantee you that ain't gonna happen. There's just nothing in The Black Dahlia that's good enough to garner any kind of consideration for any award in the entire world.

Keyword : Oscar, Scarlett Johansson, McG, Rio, Rose McGowan, Cher, Crime, Mystery, Medical, Hilary Swank, Buzz, You, Dev, Shin, Josh Hartnett, Ant, Angel, Ate, Beautiful, Black, Cover, DIG, Face, Gone, Good, Heart, Here, Look, Out, Red, RV, Sign, Surveillance, The Black Dahlia, Trio, Troy, Up, Urge, War, Dub, Focus , Shaw, Bi, Lance, Cas, Ron, Tere


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