Starring Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, John Malkovich, Jennifer Connelly, Melanie Griffith
Opened: April 26, 1996 | Rated: R
"Mulholland Falls" looks like film noir -- dark, steamy performances, wonderfully shot in muted colors that hark of black and white, a plot steeped in intrigue -- but it just falls flat somewhere.
It's hard to pin down exactly where this film goes wrong.
The story holds together through the death of a beautiful girl (Jennifer Connelly) who happened to be the mistress of a detective (Nick Nolte), and the subsequent investigation, by L.A.'s infamous "Hat Squad" that leads to a radiation-related cover-up at a nuclear test sight.
It isn't the acting. Nolte, one of the most underrated actors around, is as good as ever. Chazz Palminteri, as Nolte's partner, lives up to his potential instead of just chewing the scenery as he's been prone to do lately. John Malkovich, as a nuclear scientist, shows remnants of several characters he's played before, but really he's a character actor and his characters are weird in very specific ways. Connelly was just born to play '40s and '50s sirens. Even Melanie Griffith is tolerable for once.
But just the fact that Griffith is in this film should serve as a warning that the producers weren't paying as much attention to "Mulholland Falls" as they should have been.
Something just isn't right, and despite the look, feel and taste of '50s tough-guy detective grit, "Mulholland Falls" just sits there on the screen without much to say.
©1996 All Rights Reserved.