'Fahrenheit 451' doesn't catch fire with HBO adaptation

Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan in 'Fahrenheit 451'

(CNN)Proving you can't judge a book -- or movie -- by its cover, "Fahrenheit 451" turns out to be considerably less than the sum of its parts. Featuring the tantalizing tandem of Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon, this HBO movie adaptation of Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel grinds along sluggishly, eclipsed by similar visions ("The Handmaid's Tale," anyone?) and becoming one of those films that, alas, looked better on paper.

Published in the early 1950s, and previously turned into a 1966 movie directed