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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.