Beware a mock documentary so reflexive that the obnoxious hand-to-mouth filmmakers start to occupy center stage. In the case of Where’s Marlowe?, the subject that gets shoved aside is a Los Angeles private eye named Joe Boone, played by the pug-faced, charismatically terse Miguel Ferrer.
Boone knows that he’s an irrelevant small-time scrounger, but he insists on wearing swanky suits and clinging to the ancient one-man-must-walk-these-streets codes of his profession. Ferrer, who hasn’t had a good role since the yuppie-scum villain of ”RoboCop,” tosses off amusing tough-lug patter. But the film, which is actually an expanded version of a failed TV pilot, lures him into a case that leads nowhere of any consequence, ultimately devolving into a vacant yet convoluted movie-within-a-movie stunt.