Chinatown ★★★★

Film #15/30 of Scavenger Hunt #16
Task # 19 "A movie with a batman villain actor/actress."

So this could potentially be my last review for a couple of weeks as I go to France tonight (overnight ferry from Plymouth), and the rest of the month reviews wise will depend on what connection I have when I get there because I'll only be taking my tablet and my phone. Maybe now's a good time to try out that app?

Either way Chinatown seemed like a good way to end what is likely going to be the last Scavenger Hunt July movie that I'll get the chance to watch, and it instantly blew me away and left a pretty good impression. After all, Jack Nicholson is one of my favourite actors having put in great performances in The Shining, Batman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Departed, and Chinatown is another hit from him as he plays a private investigator who finds himself dragged into a greater conspiracy when he is hired to investigate on paper what looks like a classic case of a husband cheating on his wife.

Faye Dunaway is also pretty great here as well, but Nicholson is the real star when it comes to the acting. Director Roman Polanski crafts what is probably one of the definitive noir movies, and a must watch for fans of the genre, painting an excellent portrayal of the seedy underbelly of pre-World War II Southern California. It's a great backdrop full of fascinating morally corrupt characters and boasts an ending that will make you realise "oh, that's why it's called Chinatown."

The visuals, set-design and soundtrack is stunning and if you're a video game fan looking for L.A. Noire the movie then Chinatown is probably the closest that you're going to get. This is the second film that I've seen from director Roman Polanski following his underwhelming The Ninth Gate and I have to say that Chinatown is by far the superior movie out of the two and it'll be interesting to see whether or not his other movies can live up to just how good this film was.

Essential for fans of the genre, Chinatown is another movie that I'm really glad I ticked off my list of shame and is certainly worth a watch if you get the chance.

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