Carol Morley’s Out Of Blue is New Orleans set British crime drama following the investigation of a murdered Astrophysicist, Jennifer Rockwell. The film is based on Martin Amis’ novel ‘Night Train’ and stars Patricia Clarkson as the detective in charge of the investigation Mike Hoolihan.
Out Of Blue takes a cerebral approach to the crime drama genre, moving incredibly slowly through the investigation. There are some turns in the story, but the film approaches them at such a leisurely pace that they feel more like gradual bends than full blown twists. Instead of a plot heavy the film instead wants to take its time with creating an atmosphere and mood, that it wants to come across as thoughtful.
The cast that Morley has assembled is certainly a talented one alongside Clarkson. Jacki Weaver and James Caan play the parents of Jennifer, whilst Toby Jones and Jonathan Majors play her colleague and love interest respectively. All talented actor, but much like the film there’s no real spark from any of them. Their performances feel sedated, and they wrestle with the nonsensical takes on GCSE level science.
And that is really the problem with Out Of Blue, it just isn’t engaging enough to be a great mystery. At just under two hours you would think there would need to be more substance there than your typical episode of CSI, but there really isn’t. Instead Out Of Blue feels like it pads out the time with ponderous shots of Mike mulling over the case or her own internal demons, and the same dream sequences time and again.
The slow pace of the film just leads to nothing being a surprise, except when something occurs out of nowhere to push the plot forward significantly. The really criminal payoff is when the film reaches a point of resolution, that you see coming from a little before that, before going back on it and coming to the same conclusion half an hour later. This just leads to Out Of Blue never coming to life, and never gripping you.
There was just never anything to draw me into the moody, brooding tone of the film. Even the very talented cast that has been assembled doesn’t inspire any excitement from the film, and without that it just winds up being a dull mess.