Robert Downey Jr. must've been high or something when he signed on for this. In The Singing Detective--a remake of an '80s British cult-classic musical miniseries--he plays a hospitalized guy with grotesque skin lesions who imagines himself a singing, dancing gumshoe. While the screenplay (penned by original creator Dennis Potter) holds true to the story's weirdness, director Keith Gordon has little flair for this material, especially the musical numbers.
Downey plays it all with a punch of anger, but you quickly don't care what happens to his character. And the thinly sketched supporting cast--including Robin Wright Penn, Jeremy Northam and a disguised Mel Gibson--doesn't elicit much interest either. That leaves you with a rather dull, boring and strange (in the worst way) musical. And that's quite an accomplishment when murder, sordid sex and theft are on the bill.