2016. Directed by Dennis Hauck.
"Then let's set it music."
A neo noir mic drop, Too Late is a film that is brimming with iconic dialogue and flat out insane presentation. As the credits roll I find myself hopelessly wanting a rewatch.
Sampson is a PI who receives a desperate call for help from a stripper that he once loved. What follows is five 22 minute single take scenes shown out of order that tell the noir tragedy from start to finish, with cold and slick reverence.
Hauck's script is to die for. It evokes the titans of film noir while birthing a new, fresh take on the genre. If I had to conjure a complaint it's that you find yourself thirsting for John Hawkes' Sampson at every turn. He embodies the detective role with unparalleled commitment, producing instantly quotable and utterly heartbreaking lines as an afterthought. This film is the definition of cool. From the costumes to the music to the violence, everything is perfectly placed and with intent.
Bill Fernandez delivers some of the most unique cinematography I've ever witnessed. The film is presented as five unique scenes and every segment is sublime. The acting standout, aside from the formidable Hawkes, is Dichen Lachman who produces an anti-fatale persona that steals every single scene she inhabits. Vail Bloom is another notable standout who ups the ante with her no holds barred performance as the forgotten starlet who's hungry for attention and revenge.
"His dog is growling and I left my heater in the car."
The standout scene is Sampson's confrontation with the supposed villain. If there are any doubts as to what Too Late is saying, they are put to rest by the exemplary interplay between Hawkes, Bloom, the always strong Jeff Fahey, and the amazing Robert Forster. This is a vitriolic trip of a film that makes no apologies for dragging you down into the indescribable muck. It's a story of cigarettes, cheap booze, and dirty urinals, highlighted by a perfect soundtrack of a "I fell in love with a stripper" motif.
Available on digital on August 8th, Too Late is one of the best films of 2016. It's packed with classic noir dialogue and Tarantino-esque set pieces. I can't remember a time where I've spent the entire film looking to wife to confirm how awesome the dialogue I just heard is. This film is a cigarette choked exhale of pictures long forgotten, harnessing the dark side of Hollywood glitz and it works on every level.