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By Matthew Sorrento | May 25, 2008

The city streets are dark and oppressive – but the local marquee reads “Little Miss Sunshine” and cellphones are pivotal to the action. Hence, we’re far from the classic world of the title, but in a 3D-animated neo-noir, gray as steel and just as cold.

A P.I. wakes with amnesia to learn that he’s a murderer, with the dead body beside him. In voiceover he says he has no idea why he’d do such a thing, but he must crack the case. Thus, the opening feels like “The Big Sleep” as much as “Regarding Henry.” As this P.I. pieces together information and learns more about himself – how he beat women and even let one die – he realizes what an a*****e he was prior to his getting K.O.-ed, albeit an a-hole who got laid quite a bit. Every scene seems to deliver a new, perfectly figured nude babe for him; one even does him to help the bad guys. Whenever he gets chased, he proves he could school John Rambo on how to dodge bullets at close range – and not just handguns and automatics: we’re talking those big, rotating f*****s on a helicopter. Right away, this guy slips so easily from confrontation that we lose excitement. There’s no real danger to be found in this crime film.

Screenwriter D. Jud Jones – alias of Serbian-born Srdjan Penezic, who co-directed with animator Risto Topaloski (clearly a skilled technician) – can’t deliver on a doom-filled closing that his ambitious title promises. A gimmick revealed at the end conveniently solves the story’s mystery and makes this film schlock.

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