This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dennis Hauck's noir drama "Too Late" works better as a stylistic exercise than as absorbing drama, though a soulful performance by John Hawkes carries it pretty far.

It starts with a young woman, Dorothy (Crystal Reed, from "Teen Wolf"), waiting for someone in an L.A.-area park, and getting chatted up first by two drug dealers (Dash Mihok and Rider Strong) and later a park ranger (Brett Jacobsen). By the time Hawkes' character, a private eye named Sampson, arrives on the scene, Dorothy is dead.

This is the first of five scenes, all shot on film in unbroken 20-minute takes, that tell Hauck's story of the detective and the dead girl. The scenes are ordered out of chronological sequence and go from a Hollywood Hills mansion to a rundown drive-in theater — introducing a cast that includes Robert Forster, Jeff Fahey, Joanna Cassidy and, most striking of all, Dichen Lachman (late of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") as a sometime stripper with a lot of secrets.

Hauck's fidelity to old-school filmmaking technique, with the emphasis on film (it's being distributed to theaters on 35mm film, not digital), is self-evident, as is his overreliance on every verbal flourish from the Raymond Chandler playbook.

'Too Late'

Opening Friday, May 13, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably R for graphic nudity, violence and language; 107 minutes.

comments powered by Disqus