The poster for this film definitely seems really misleading even if it is an event that does happen in the movie. This is a fun Noir film that takes a bit of a twist on the usual order of things. There are a lot of moving pieces in this film and the story is on point. You really can’t trust anyone here and the overall moral is definitely not to play with fire. Even if you figure you won’t get burned it will catch up to you eventually so you have to do the right thing without delay. if you delay for too long then that will be game over in an instant.
The movie introduces us to Jane and Alan who are a married couple that are decently happy. They were driving to a party but Jane didn’t want to go at the last second so as they turn around someone throws a case filled with a lot of money in it into their car. Now they’re rich and Jane can have the high end lifestyle that she’s always wanted. There is just one problem though, Alan doesn’t think this is a good idea. He’s against it since it’s not their money and figures that it’s like stealing and threatens to turn it over to the cops. Jane knows that he needs this money though and she will obliterate anyone who stands in her way…even if that ends up being Alan himself! Additionally a guy named Danny shows up and claims the money was for him so she better hand it over or else. She will have to stay really tough in the pocket if she is going to survive this.
One thing you have to say for Jane is that she is definitely quite tough. No matter what threats are sent her way she keeps on going. She is very confident and determined in herself. Nobody is about to intimidate her while she has something to say about it. In fact the various characters are all surprised at just how ruthless she can be and she begins to let the illusion of her being a nice person fade more and more as time goes on. Even Danny who is a hardened criminal begins to fear her to an extent. Sure he could physically stop her but she is just so ruthless that if he lets his guard down for an instant then she will take him down.
Initially you figure that the money may have had her go off the deep end but as the film goes on we begin to see more and more how she has always been like this. We even learn a bit more about her past which adds to this. Jane just wants to be rich no matter what to the point where she figures it is basically her destiny. Sure she sometimes has some doubts about this but never for very long as she gets back to scheming. It was just very interesting to have the main heroine be the main villain like this and it worked out really well. Anytime she plays for sympathy or tries to start a romance you realize it’s just all part of the act as she manipulates everyone.
Now I could do without even the false pretense of a romance because she doesn’t need that in order to win here. She is plenty strong enough regardless and has enough wits about her to keep on winning on her terms. I guess this helps to confuse poor Danny erven more but you have to remember the whole time that there isn’t much sympathy to be had for him. The guy is still a crook even if he isn’t quite able to keep up with her for very long. He starts talking tough about how murder is too much for him and he wants out but at the end of the day I still wouldn’t put it past him. I think he was really just uncomfortable because he was usually in the driver’s seat and not the sidekick so it was a real change of pace for him.
I’d even say some of his scenes are even played for laughs as a result. The guy just seems so out of his depth that it can be really funny at times even when he does have his share of dangerous moments. The guy just goes out like a chump so at the end of the day that’s the only thing you’re going to remember about him. It’s always how a character ends that’s important after all. Alan also looks really bad here because he’s so oblivious the whole time. Jane wasn’t exactly subtle with how much she wanted the money and yet Alan didn’t connect the dots until it was way too late. Ultimately that meant he was absolutely doomed here but he just felt like a chump. Like when he asks Jane out on a date and she gives the most emotionless response you can imagine.
Kathy was at least reasonable for the most part although she was well out of her depth against Jane. Jane was able to manipulate her as well as the other characters even though it took more effort on her part. Kathy at least suspected some things with how heavy handed Jane was in discrediting Alan’s memory but Kathy should have done more. Ultimately she steps back and lets Don do all of the work. Things wouldn’t have really changed if it was just Kathy even if she was getting a little closer to solving the puzzle. I don’t think she would have learned enough quickly enough to make a difference.
Don was a fun character. He shows up rather randomly but is really suspicious the whole time so he is like a wild card thrown into the deck. He does a good job of immediately seeing through Jane’s flirting as well and doesn’t fold the way Danny did. Don is the kind of guy you want to be doing research on your behalf since you know he’ll be thorough. Granted even he was on the back foot here compared to Jane but nobody could really keep up with her. Ultimately only self inflicted errors were enough for the other characters to start keeping up. Otherwise they would have been pretty much doomed.
I’ve already talked about Jane quite a bit so suffice to say she is a fun villain. I liked just how clever and crafty she was. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a mastermind quite like this. The writing is on point and the film has quick pacing throughout. Just when you think Jane may finally be hesitating she pulls off another crazy stunt. Ultimately money is the most important thing to her and it’s been a little while since I saw a villain whose only motivation was money like this. The movie will also have a good amount of replay value as a result.
Overall, Too Late for Tears is a very appropriate title for this movie. There is definitely no more time left as Jane made her decision and has to stick through it. From early on in the movie there is just no time to look back. She would have really made for a good detective if she ever had the passion for that. In the end it probably wouldn’t pay enough to really meet her needs though. Maybe being an investment banker or something like that would have been more up her alley.