Eolh wrote:in noir the actors are almost unnecessary anyway as the characters are by design cardboard cutouts
I agree with this in part, in that there were very few genre-defying characters in noir, but that's why character actors became so popular. You still need an actor who can pull off perfect cardboard, and you still need characters that lend to the style. Ben Affleck can't play Sam Spade, but he could have easily stepped into Jude Law's role and it probably wouldn't have made a difference.
I'm sympathetic to stereotypical characters and understand such roles can be used as a shortcut to "caring" about the characters and what happens next. But simply because Law could fly a plane didn't make me care about him in any way. He was so thin, as all the characters seemed, I didn't really care what happened to any of them. One could say the same thing about Ocean's 11, but they had at least a quick dialogue and humor to inter-character relationships.
Which, of course, is why I didn't watch it all the way through, and which kind of makes this entire discussion moot.