Reviewed on 2007 March 26
Adrien Brody is a very versatile actor; he was very good as the cultured Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist and as a punker in Summer of Sam. Here, he convincingly does the sordid-investigator-with-a-good-heart-underneath-a-hard-shell bit.
Louis Simo (Brody) is a low-rent private eye that makes the bulk of his income doing such fun things as trailing spouses suspected of cheating. His fortunes appear to be on the upswing when he gets wind that some people think the suicide of George Reeves (Ben Affleck) was a homicide. Initially Simo just sees dollar signs if he solves this, but it breaks his heart to see his son Evan (Zach Mills) so devastated by the death of his hero Superman. He risks his neck to solve the mystery. The challenge is whittling down the list of suspects — he mostly likes either Toni Mannix (Diane Lane) or her studio exec husband Eddie (Bob Hoskins) for a murder, but he can’t rule out Reeves’s nasty, money-chasing fiance Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney) either.
The acting is spectacular, especially from Affleck. He shows us Reeves’s pain as he tries to break out of his Man of Steel role. Brody did a great job with the character development too, especially in the scenes where he confronts Reeves’s estranged mother Helen Bessolo (Lois Smith). The scenery and camera work are good and we’re reminded what a powerful cultural icon Superman was. And how creepy was the bit with the rotten little kid at the live appearance of Superman?
Three chocolate morsels.