The 1940s and 50s crime noir films had hardboiled and tough detectives, beautiful leading ladies, seedy gin joints and dangerous villains. Based on a popular comic book in Italy, the film Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is similar to those crime noirs of the 40s and 50s which makes for a good movie, with only one exception.
Some compared the movie to other popular urban characters such as John Taylor courtesy of Simon Green and Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher. Some inspiration may have come from characters like that but the comic series by Tiziano Sclavi was created in 1986 and Dresden did not appear in print until 2000.
The title character is played by Brandon Routh as a private investigator in New Orleans who spends the majority of his day investigating cheating spouses. His narration throughout is another connection to the noir genre and that monsters live amongst us; werewolves, vampires, ghouls and zombies all exist and call New Orleans home.
Before Dylan Dog had been the creatures’ spokesman, keeping both their existence hidden from humanity, and peace between the different factions of monsters. But he gave up the position years ago due to a personal tragedy and refuses to deal with them at all now.
An importer gets killed and then his assistant gets killed so Dog accepts the importers’ daughter’s request to investigate. He soon gets involved in a plot surrounding an artefact of power that was stolen, and all the monsters want, thus he must find it before the monsters and prevent a war from taking over New Orleans. Routh, however, despite trying hard, is too way too young to play the part of a tough, grizzled detective.