Desperate and enlightening
This must have been a fun movie to shoot. Literally every shot has something going on either with shadows or fog, and quite often both, all in black and white. It makes for a pretty picture, but it's mainly there to set the mood.
A killer is loose on the streets of some city at some point in the past - we don't get specifics to ground us here. Kleinman (Woody Allen) is brought into a vigilante committee to find the killer. Several other stories loosely intertwine around this center storyline.
The pacing is unusual for a Woody Allen picture, and he places his metaphors much closer to the surface than elsewhere. What he's really trying to accomplish is to imitate a very specific style, yet put his own stamp on it. He succeeds on both counts, but is that enough to make it interesting?
Actually, yes, and that can be placed mainly on the performances. There's plenty of well knowns here - John Cusack, Jodie Foster, Lily Tomlin, Kathy Bates, Mia Farrow, David Ogden Stiers, Madonna, Julie Kavner, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Wallace Shawn, and John Malkovich. It's not quite as engaging as other Allen films. Definitely worthwhile, but not first on the list.
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