A neo-noir film set in the Los Angeles of the not so very distant future. A hard-boiled private investigator hired by a businessman to find a missing woman. A woman who vanished with his heart and a large chunk of his money. Apart from the setting, CLYDE COOPER sounds like a million other films, and with good reason.
Starting out with two hookers putting on a very tame show for a fat, hairy and impotent guy who promptly kills himself. Then we jump into the plot. Clyde Cooper (Jordi Vilasuso THE INVITATION) is a detective who specializes in cases the cops won’t handle. Vincent (Richard Neil PRODIGY) hires him to track down Nina (Aria Sirvaitis DEATH CAMP), a woman he was involved with. Of course, nothing and nobody are who or what they seem and Clyde is soon way in over his head.
The film opens with a flurry of twists that soon had me wondering just what was going on. By the time we’re being told a suspect’s fingerprints aren’t human I was fairly lost. Yes, a mystery is supposed to be hard to figure out, but it’s also supposed to give you clues to work with. Here we have damn little to go on.
By the time the film starts giving us real answers I’d put together a few hunches of my own about these dames with the non-human fingerprints. And I was fairly close. The bigger scope of the plot was another matter. Though once it’s revealed it does make perfect sense. It would even have worked without being set in the future. Which never amounts to anything since everything looks like the present day anyhow.
The film’s biggest misstep, however, may be a small one. CLYDE COOPER is full of noir elements. Voice overs by our hero, tough guy dialogue, beautiful but untrustworthy women and even some jazz on the soundtrack. But it blows it in one detail, rather than the cliché cigarette hanging from his mouth, Cooper is constantly vaping. Now I’m well over smoking as a cue that someone is supposed to be badass, but nobody looks tough with a vape.
That matter aside, CLYDE COOPER is an acceptable watch. It’s certainly better than I expected given writer/director Peter Daskaloff is best known for making SEX AND THE SINGLE ALIEN in 1993 and again in 2015.
Souvenir Films will release CLYDE COOPER on VOD November 22.