Marlowe: Neil Jordan’s noir mystery is named as it is instead of the literary work it adapts not merely for name recognition, but to convince those who watched it that the protagonist is, indeed, supposed to be Philip Marlowe. The trouble started when the decision was made to use a sub-par book that read like a money-grabbing endeavour instead of a Raymond Chandler original as the source. The story is not serpentine: it’s just plain confusing and meaningless as it follows the investigation of the whereabouts of an heiress ex-lover. Liam Neeson seems a bit miscast as the classic gumshoe, but it’s hard when the character’s essence is not on the page; Diane Kruger is fine as the cold and untrustworthy heiress; Danny Huston and Alan Cumming are wasted as the heavies. The film looks very good, in any case: costume designer Betsy Heimann dresses Ms. Kruger in a beautiful and varied array of gowns; production designer John Beard makes good use of the solar locations to suggest they are in California. Composer David Holmes’ musical score sounds good but is not a particularly good match.