Tomorrow You're Gone: Film Review

Tomorrow You're Gone Poster - P 2013

Tomorrow You're Gone Poster - P 2013

This turgid and pretentious thriller is all style, no substance.

A brooding Stephen Dorff and frequently unclothed Michelle Monaghan star in this modern exercise in film noir.

Tomorrow You’re Gone may be a good title for a modern-day film noir, but it also describes the inevitable commercial fate of this stilted stylistic exercise starring an endlessly brooding Stephen Dorff and an often semi-naked Michelle Monaghan (hey, every cloud has a silver lining). Long on mood but short on just about everything else, this would-be thriller directed by David Jacobson is as boring as it is baffling.

Straining for an air of mystery, the thin plot has to do with Charlie Rankin (Dorff), a recently released ex-con whose life was saved in prison by a mysterious, aphorism-spouting figure known only as “The Buddha” (Willem Dafoe, slumming it). Now it’s Charlie’s turn to repay the debt, by killing someone that his benefactor has targeted.

Before he can complete the task, he’s picked up the sexy Florence (Monaghan) on a bus. Apparently having no regard for her own safety, she immediately invites him to her apartment and tries to get him in an amorous mood by showing him one of the porn films in which she’s starred.

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But despite his presumed period of sexual deprivation, Charlie is in no mood for romance. Later, after he botches the hit by leaving a witness behind, he goes on the run with Florence, who sees something in him that neither he nor the viewer can.

The endless exchanges between the two — in which she babbles on effusively and he responds with one-liners delivered in a monotone -- forms the crux of the proceedings. That Florence may or may not be a figment of Charlie’s imagination, even though it’s hard to believe he has one, is but one of the film’s many stylistic conceits.

Based on screenwriter Matthew F. Jones’ novel Boot Tracks, the dreamlike film never achieves any narrative momentum or suspense despite its melodramatic plotline. Dorff mainly relies on his chiseled, stubble-laden features, while the vivacious Monaghan is unable to make her character remotely credible ... although maybe that’s the point.

Opens April 5 (Image Entertainment)

Production: Deed Films

Cast: Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe, Tara Buck, Robert LaSardo, Kerry Ruossall

Director: David Jacobson

Screenwriter: Matthew F. Jones

Producers: Scott Donley, Peter L. Kaufman, Dan March, Madeleine Molyneaux, Larry Ratner

Executive producer: David Jacobson, Judith Barrett Lawson, Michael Rosenblatt, Leonard Shapiro

Director of photography: Michael Fimgnani

Editor: Stan Salfas

Production designer: Jennifer Klide

Costume designer: Carol Beadle

Not rated, 91 min.