Writer: Brian DeCubellis (Screenplay) Colin Harrison (Novel)
Starring: Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beals, Raul Aranas, Thomas Bair
Plot: A reporter becomes involved with a mysterious woman while investigating her late husband’s death.
Tagline – No reporter can resist a siren
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Mystery Noir Style
Story: Manhattan Night starts when investigative reporter Porter Wren (Brody) tells his story and his place in the New York world, telling people’s stories. He gets asked by Caroline Crowley (Strahovski) to investigate the murder of her husband Simon (Scott) whose murder remains unsolved and covered in mystery.
As Porter gets involved in an affair with Caroline, he soon discovers that there is a bigger cover up going on and his own family is now in danger, can he uncover the truth before it is too late.
Thoughts on Manhattan Night
Characters – Porter Wren is a well-respected journalist in New York, he has a comfortable job in his paper because of his reputation for telling people’s stories. His latest case however will get him looking into the murder mystery that will push himself to the limits when he gets involved with the victim’s wife. He narrates a lot of this which is the films way of trying to have a dig a modern society. Caroline is the wife whose husband has been killed, she seduces Porter, which plays her out to be a siren, only she soon feels like a victim with this character get caught in the middle we never know which side she is meant to be, one that gets what she wants or just a victims. Simon is the husband that has been murdered meaning we only see him in flashback of how the two were married. Lisa is the wife of Porter, she is doctor and from how Porter tells the story they don’t get along as they once did.
Performances – Adrien Brody does well in the leading role in the film even if he doesn’t make his character feel much different than any others from the similar genre. Yvonne Strahovski fits the seductive side to her character, though without being the strongest in the serious side of the story. Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals just don’t get enough time to show their skills off in this film.
Story – The story here follows an investigation into an unsolved murder which brings the investigative reporter into a series of cover ups and conspiracy in true noir style. Using the noir style is clear here, the execution of the noir style doesn’t quite come off though because the siren doesn’t feel like a siren and by the end you will be left wondering just why the investigation wasn’t solved by the police in the first place, let alone why the reporter is even asked to investigate it. Nothing really comes out of solving the case which is the biggest disappointment from everything we are getting invested in.
Crime/Mystery – The crime side of this mystery does involve a murder that hasn’t been solved, it does have other crime elements involved too which just confuse the simply plot.
Settings – The film is set in New York and uses a secret house to show a place of peace in this busy city and how people can meet and connect through life.
Final Thoughts – This is a noir styled crime mystery that gives us a case that almost doesn’t need to be solved in the end.
Overall: Mystery that didn’t need solving.