Directed by Tom Konkle
Starring Tom Konkle, Vernon Wells, Brittney Powell, Steve Tom, Benton Jennings, Mark Teich, Jordana Capra,
Indie Film Review by Chris Olson
Classic crime noir adventure in this indie film from director Tom Konkle, Trouble Is My Business taps into a reservoir of genre conventions to deliver a good ol' mystery and kidnapping story using amazing cinematography, costumes and filmmaking aesthetics to embolden the myriad of vibrant characters.
Disgraced private investigator Roland Drake (Tom Konkle) may have taken on more than he can handle when the daughter of a prominent family comes to him for help in finding her father, who has been missing for a week. To make matters worse, she then goes missing! With a punctured reputation being splattered all over the tabloids and a rocky relationship (to say the least) with the authorities, Drake must navigate his way through copious amounts of mystery and violence to find answers.
In the vain of films like Laura and Double Indemnity, Trouble Is My Business ticks a lot of cinematic boxes when it comes to delivering a period crime drama. The darkened urban streets and grimly lit office are all there alongside the tumblers of whisky and snappy dialogue. Even the font used on the opening credits smacks of '40s noir. Tonally there is a huge amount for audiences to be immersed in with this movie and great effort has been put into the sublime mise en scéne. Certain sequences may feel a little over the top but it's a genre movie that can certainly indulge in a bit of melodrama without jolting the audience out of the experience.
Konkle is a particularly strong lead, containing all the wit, charm and ruggedness you could want for a private dick, and engaging in some fantastically theatrical banter with almost all of the characters. He gets ruffed up along the way by an absolutely sterling performance from Vernon Wells as Detective Tate, whose long arm of the law stretches far and wide. Along with Konkle in most scenes is the excellent Brittney Powell who commands so many of the frames she is in as Jennifer.
With a running time of nearly two hours, Trouble Is My Business stretches itself too thin in terms of plot, especially during the final third. It's a storyline that keeps to the path well trodden and didn't need as much convolution as it has. That being said when cinema is as visually arresting as this you don't mind sticking around a little longer. The use of an eclectic array of Hollywood backdrops (I assume using green screen) is just magnificent, one rooftop scene where Tate beats seven bells out of Drake is sublimely put together, as are the numerous car scenes and shoot outs.
The phrase "they don't make them like this anymore" could not be more apt for Konkle's film, co-written with Powell. It's a genre movie that completely dedicates itself to the form and reaps the benefits for its boldness. Fans of the masters of cinema will be in their absolute element, ricocheting against the costumes, sets, characters and more as the story unwinds into a classic caper with all the trimmings. Now...where did I leave MY whiskey tumbler.
Watch the official Movie Trailer for Trouble Is My Business below...