There are a lot of concepts at work in this film. I probably would have liked it if there had been fewer. The idea of a film noir set in a high school is intriguing. What kind of smoky dramas might take place in a modern urban school district? You don’t find out here, because the drama isn’t inspired by the setting, it’s like a textbook study of the hardboiled detective genre. The quick, slangy, cryptic dialogue that ensues turns the high school kids into strange puppets saying lines from some forgotten Dashiell Hammet novel. The contrast is pretty funny at points, and it could have made a good noir parody, but it doesn’t commit to this fun perspective either. You don’t get parody, and you don’t get believable characters. The unfortunate end result is a clever, slick, but seemingly pointless series of cinematic manuevers.