Director Brian De Palma perfectly captures everything about the film noir genre except whatever it was that made it worth watching. The Black Dahlia is a long, drawn-out character study of a homosexual police officer (Aaron Eckhart), his partner (Josh Hartnett) and the woman they both sort of love (Scarlett Johansson). Hartnett is the central character, and hes dull as a box of Ralph Nader porn. Johansson is no better; as in Scoop, she cant seem to stay in character, and the fact that she has friendly sweater puppies hardly makes up for her failures as an actor. Eckharts good as he always is, but it doesnt matter, as his characters obsession with the Black Dahlia murder becomes background detail in De Palmas quest to perfectly re-create the most boring aspects of the noir classics. Worst of all is the ending, where 40 loose threads that had been cruelly left to dangle are tied up neat as a Halliburton contract. Its all done in an unconvincing scene of expository dialogue and flashback thatll leave you going, Huh? Too bad, because on style alone, this could have been a great film. Sadly, style alone doesnt work as well in filmmaking as it does in getting laid or elected.