This was a great change of pace.

Cast

Tom Welling as
Clark Kent

Kristen Kreuk as
Lana Lang

Michael
Rosenbaum
as Lex Luthor

John Glover
as Lionel Luthor

Annette
O’Toole
as Martha Kent
Erica Durance as
Lois Lane

Allison Mack as
Chloe Sullivan.

Written by Brian Peterson and Kelly Sounders.

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc.

Original Airdate


Noir
originally aired on Thursday, May 3, 2007.

Synopsis

After some excellent (and highly recommended) inspiration, Jimmy dreams up a world with his friends in a film noir style mystery that parallels the one he was working on in his waking life.

High Point

Using the noir dialog. I’ve seen a couple of noir spoofs, and apart from this one, they either overuse the dialog or drop it completely. This is the only one I’ve seen to keep the stylized dialog as limited as the source material did.

Low Point

The supreme incompetence of roping things off that close to the crime scene. I’d have found it more plausible if Lois’ seduction attempts had actually worked.

The Review

This is definitely original. It’s an accurate film noir spoof that puts Jimmy in the lead role. What other show has done that? I give it 6 out of 6.

The effects were a combination of blue screens and physical effects. This is yet another relatively cheap episode. With two episodes left in the season, I’m betting they’re saving their pennies for one heck of a season finale. (The prop and wardrobe budget was high, but the actual effects budget must have been low, with simple tasks like blue screens, a car crash, and possible digital decoloring.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The story was a nice, mostly lighthearted change of pace that lays some new ground and gives us a lot more Jimmy. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was really mixed. Aaron Ashmore definitely did his homework, effectively carrying his role while channeling the works of Humphrey Bogart, Robert Ryan, Sterling Hayden, and Robert Mitchum. Kreuk and Mack didn’t evoke the attributes of the period as effectively, but it would be very hard to do that now without seeming sexist (despite the typically liberated women of the genre). Welling was great in his first noir scene, but the rest of his performance was less impressive. Still, I get the impression that Ashmore was the only one familiar with the genre, which makes me wonder if the actor has a genuine interest deep enough to have inspired the episode in the first place. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was great. This was a really fun episode, and the first fun episode in a while. Plus, as a bit of a film noir nut myself, I really enjoyed the nod to the genre. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production was great. They did an excellent job recruiting the old style, from lighting, to props, to wardrobe, to music, to the iris out that led into the first commercials. They really recreated the style well. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was just a whole lot of fun for the first time in a while. Highly recommended. I give it 5 out of 6, which would have been higher had the whole acting team reproduced the style as well.

In total, Noir receives 37

out of 42.