Dark Passage

BLUF: Only for the most die hard Bogie and Bacall fans.  

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in a noir called Dark Passage, can’t miss, right?  Unfortunately, wrong. This movie’s a mess that seems like it must have been quickly slapped together to capitalize on the Bogie and Bacall mystique, complete with in-jokes in which Bacall reacts disappointingly to Bogart’s appearance. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a movie here.  The plot is held together with band aids, depends on ridiculous coincidences, and derails by movie’s end by suddenly making a lynchpin of a heretofore minor and completely uninteresting character.  I’m not sure who picks the quotes for an IMDB entry, but the ones for Dark Passage exemplify just how banal the dialogue is.  “Don’t you get lonely up here?” says Vincent Perry, Bogart’s character, shortly after meeting Bacall’s Irene Jansen.  Another is, “Nice looking suit you’re wearing.”  Yeah, nobody’s going to be quoting this one, I think.   

Modern movies sometimes fall short by relying overly much on just how cool the special effects are.  They lack the cult of personality Hollywood was so good at creating back in the day, the sheer screen presence of actors like Bogart and Bacall.  Be that as it may, Dark Passage is a good reminder that star power alone can’t carry a movie either.  

P.S.- I watched the trailer after I wrote this blog entry.  I rest my case.

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