Dead Dogs

Director Clay Eide and scriptwriter Todd Bulman try to update the film noir with this tale of two small-town brothers, the dime-store femme fatale they both love, and a robbery plot that goes awry. The filmmakers provide some essential noir elements—seduction, betrayal, male-bonding, a tawdry setting, interplay of light and shadow—but the three main characters talk way too much (in what Bulman imagines as working-class lingo) and explain their past way too often. Jay Underwood as the volatile renegade and Joe Reynolds as his sappy brother generate some tension, helped along by the nervy score and eerie black-and-white cinematography, but they're not enough to lift the film above the ordinary.

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