The Two Jakes

Director: Jack Nicholson
Year Released: 1990
Rating: 1.5

Eleven years after Chinatown, detective Jake Gittes (Nicholson) gets himself in the middle of another fiasco when he's hired by Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel) to find out if his wife Kitty (Meg Tilly) is having an affair, a sting is set up and Berman's business partner is killed, everyone wants a tape recording Gittes made and apparently there are some dodgy dealings in town involving the extraction of petroleum.  The 1974 release was such a success I can understand why they'd want to revisit the character, but the presentation here is so scattershot, with new characters (and even old ones) being introduced every fifteen minutes, that it becomes ridiculously hard to follow (a hilarious trivia entry in the Internet Movie Database is about how a moviegoer in Florida noticed the reels were out of sequence ... and it had been playing for weeks and no one else said anything).  This was the third film Nicholson directed, and it's most likely the last he's going to do: production was a total disaster and it led to a "falling out" with screenwriter Robert Towne and producer Robert Evans that I'm not sure was ever patched up.  In other words: forget it, Jack ... it's Hollywood.