Trouble is My Business (2018)

troubleismybusiness

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This homage to the film noir genre is quite a fun ride as it involves two interconnecting cases for a detective on the verge of redemption.

Roland Drake is a detective in 1940s Los Angeles who is on the brink of losing it all due to the failure of his last case, which resulted in the death of a missing woman named Nadia. His former partner has left him and he’s on the verge of being evicted. One fateful night, a mysterious woman name Catherine Montemar comes to his office. She wants to hire him to help find her missing father. Drake takes the case but also finds himself charmed by Catherine’s beauty and ends up in bed with her.

The next morning, Roland wakes up and find blood next to him. A few hours later, Catherine’s sister Jennifer arrives and demands to know where her sister is. When Drake discovers photos of his tryst with Catherine, he tells her why she was at his office. Jennifer reveals that their father was in possession of the Orloff Diamond, a very valuable diamond that is believed to be priceless. Reluctantly, Drake offers to help Jennifer find Catherine, her father, and the diamond as his method to get redemption. However, at what price will his meaning for redemption cost?

It has been a long time since we were treated to any sore of fun tribute to one of the great dark genres: the film noir. While L.A. Confidential was a great homage to the genre, with its feel and essence, there hasn’t been much since then. Enter Tom Konkle, who not only directed the film, but stars as our lead detective Drake and co-wrote the script with actress Brittney Powell, who also served as a producer on the film.

Konkle is quite fun to watch as Drake as he really brings the spirit of this brand of central character in the genre. He has that emotional range of the character that come out, thus making him a worthy character actor to play the part. He is clearly on the verge of redemption after the failure of his last case. We also learn of his narrative voiceover as he speaks towards his former partner Lew, played by producer David Beeler, who does a great job of showcasing this sort of love-hate relationship between Lew and Drake.

What’s a film noir without a femme fatale? Enter Brittney Powell, a former staple of underrated 90s films such as Airborne and To Be the Best. She brings out a performance that the likes of Lauren Bacall and Rita Hayworth would be proud of, as she plays dual roles. First, she is seen as Catherine, the mysterious sister with dark hair who Drake describes as “a woman whose face will launch a thousand ships and a body that would bring them back”. Then, she is Jennifer, Catherine’s concerned sister who eventually falls for our hero throughout the course of the case.

Vernon Wells enters the fray as Detective Tate, a dirty LAPD officer with ties not only to this case but Drake’s previous case as a twist, or MacGuffin comes in the form of a black book that reveals the corruption within the police, which is why Drake was hired in the first place. As with the genres, there are many twists, some of them shocking, that work quite well within the story and leaves one guessing until the very end, which even brings in a bit of a shock value.

Trouble is My Business is a very riveting homage to the film noir genre with its great black and white filter, excellent performances from Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell, and the twists and turns that make film noir one of the best dark genres out there.

WFG RATING: A

Random Media presents a Lumen Actus production. Director: Tom Konkle. Producers: Michael J. Smith and Tom Konkle. Writers: Tom Konkle and Brittney Powell. Cinematography: Jesse Arnold and P.J. Gaynard. Editing: Tom Konkle.

Cast: Vernon Wells, Brittney Powell, Tom Konkle, David Beeler, Jordana Capra, Matt Teich, Ksenia Devaleri, Ben Pace, Steve Tom.

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