Tomorrow You're Gone looks like it was made after reading the first chapter of Noir for Dummies.
Moody, broody leading man. Check.
Foxy femme fatale. Check.
Hard-boiled dialog. Check
Vintage American music on the soundtrack and cool cars to drive around in. Check.
Darkly shot scenes where you can barely see what's going on. Double check.
But what director David Jacobson and screenwriter Matthew F. Jones seem to have forgotten is a compelling story that transcends the cliches.
Dorff is Charlie Rankin aka Samson, an ex-con out to seek revenge for his prison mentor who goes by the name of The Buddha (Willem DaFoe). Along the way, he meets up with Florence (Michelle Monaghan) who drive around the nameless urban landscape (it was shot in Cleveland) in their gleaming early '60s Chevy going nowhere and saying things that are supposed to be meaningful.
Both The Buddha and Florence may or may not be figments of Charlie's imagination, his disturbed conscience come to life. Yet it all feels so forced and studied that it's hard to care either way.
Tomorrow You're Gone is not just style over substance, it's style without substance.
Exclusive: AMC Grapevine Mills
Cary Darling, 817-390-7571