The Singing Detective

Rated 3.0 Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic in this uneven film about an author suffering from debilitating psoriasis who escapes pain by fantasizing himself into the world of one of his novels. While director Keith Gordon’s fantasy world segments, where Downey and company lip synch ’50s tunes, is unimaginative, the real world portions of the film are mesmerizing. This is thanks to the work of Downey, sputtering bitterness and hatred from beneath pounds of make-up. Mel Gibson is terrific as a sympathetic psychiatrist, his balding makeup rendering him unrecognizable. The film is quite strange, and it’s perhaps too sprawling a project for Gordon’s abilities. Downey and Gibson make it a worthwhile viewing.