is a criticism I'm seeing in critiques of noir lately. Well, isn't that essentially noir? Isn't it about the failure of everyman in society? Who did you like in Double Indemnity or The Postman Always Rings Twice or in lots of the classic noir. The most we can/should feel is a fleeting sypathy for a chump or innocent caught up in it. But not really even them because they will also give in to it.
If the prose is crisp, if the style interesting, if the people behave in the way noir people should, isn't this enough? I'm not talking about hyper-violence here, just the conventions of noir.