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: Neo-Noir Quest 3 - Diary of a Hitman (1991)  ( 150 )

« : October 21, 2017, 06:32:23 AM »

Dekker's Dilemma.

Diary of a Hit-man is directed by Roy London and adapted to screenplay by Kenneth Pressman from his own play, Insider's Price. It stars Forest Whitaker, John Bedford-Lloyd, Sherilyn Fenn, Seymour Cassel, James Belushi and Sharon Stone.Music is by Michel Colombier and cinematography by Yuri Sokol.

Hit-man Dekker is contracted to kill the wife and baby of his latest client, but he starts to seriously question the ethics of the job...

"you're your own worst witness"

The ingredients for a high end neo-noir piece are all in place here, with the pic at times threatening potency to strike a telling blow, sadly it rounds out as very unfulfilling. Its stage origins are all too obvious, and the blend of quirky and wry humour with the more dramatic core of the story never sits well. Cast also come off as a little awkward, no doubt straining to deliver the goods for their acting coach director.

On the plus side for noir fans there's stuff to savour. Pic is driven by a Dekker narration, and the character is in contact with interesting characters. Be it a mime artist, his psychiatrist, a kid in a tumble dryer, a busy body tarty sister or the weasel villain who hires him, the human contact is straight out of noir land. The places he goes are also in keeping, the local bar with neon lighting, the church where "business" is conducted, Jain's (Fenn) apartment, which is a bizarre concoction of scatterbrain living and mummy housewifery, or a peekaboo strip joint. Elsewhere there's an extended session of film where Dekker has double vision, this putting a nice off-kilter vibe on things, while the whole time where the pic takes place in the apartment - with just Dekker and Jain in conflab - holds considerable interest. But then there's the finale, which is so far removed from noir it may make some want to set fire to the TV...

Just above average neo-noir, but not one to recommend with any sort of confidence. 6/10

DVD - Copy.

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