It’s definitely dark but not so funny – Maggie Moore(s) review

He was great in Mad Men but Hollywood doesn’t seem to know what to do with the debonair charms and dry wit of Jon Hamm.

So after attempting to relaunch Chevy Chase’s Fletch franchise, he’s back on the small screen with a misfiring black comedy.

Managing the two tones involves a notoriously tricky balancing act and the wobbly Maggie Moore(s) should deepen your appreciation of the Coen brothers and Banshees Of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh.

Beginning with a title card informing us that “some of this actually happened”, director (and fellow Mad Men star) John Slattery takes us to a small American town which feels an awful lot like the Coens’ Fargo.

Hamm’s Sheriff Jordan Sanders is investigating the murder of a local woman. When he discovers her identity he raises a very Hammy eyebrow. Because this is the second Maggie Moore to have been murdered in the past week.

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The film winds back a week to reveal who was responsible for the first death – her husband.

Fast-food restaurant manager Jay (Micah Stock) hires a heavy to scare his wife after she discovers he’s in hock to a paedophile over shady dealings with out-of-date meat. But the goon goes too far, burning her to death in her car.

It transpires Jay ordered the murder of the second Maggie Moore to cover his tracks. The hapless criminal figures cops will think his Maggie was a case of mistaken identity.

It’s definitely dark but is any of this funny? I’m not sure Slattery thinks so, either. Still, the cop, along with his wisecracking deputy (Nick Mohammed), sets about working out what we already know.

Along the way, Jordan gets involved with Jay’s nosy neighbour (Tina Fey). The two spark off each other nicely but stirring romance into this brew doesn’t make it go down any more easily.

Maggie Moore(s), Cert 15, On Now and Sky Cinema now

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