Private investigator Mel Sampson (John Hawkes) is tasked with tracking down the whereabouts of a missing woman from his past.
Mr. Hauck’s affection is apparent in every frame, yet outside of an occasionally clunky line or show-offy moment (O.K., sometimes it’s more occasional than just occasionally), he rarely allows it to alter his aim. That aim is to make a modern noir. That a
Like the hardboiled detectives of yore, Too Late ultimately gets the job done — even if it’s in its own off-the-books way.
Hauck, with a strong assist from Bill Fernandez’s clever, well-modulated Techniscope lensing, impressively choreographs the movie’s continuous takes with a nice balance of intimacy and breadth. Hauck’s a talent to watch.
With its overt nods to movies, nonlinear structure and purple-tinged dialogue, the self-conscious artifice of Hauck’s first feature can be suffocating. This narrative puzzle should be more fun than it is.
Filmed in five long 35mm takes, this murder mystery features a fair amount of cinematic virtuosity, but it’s too self-conscious and uneven to be entirely successful.
Too Late is a good-looking gimmick of a movie, one that will only be shown in theaters on 35mm film. Old-school advocate Quentin Tarantino would be proud — as he should be, since this noir starring John Hawkes feels like a big old valentine to him.
As exampled in “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” any chance to hear Hawkes perform solo on guitar is time well spent. It’s time well needed, too, as it provides a moment of reflection to remember why we came — Hawkes — and wonder how he found himself in such a