Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: A young woman returns to her small hometown intent on killing her abusive father only to discover someone murdered him the day before. As the girl searches for answers, she uncovers a family legacy more dangerous than she’d imagined.
Review: I’ll start by saying, the trailer for Girl is very misleading. This isn’t some hardcore, action-heavy thriller with fights, gore and blood flowing like water. Girl is a lot more grounded than that, and sadly because of the misleading trailer, I’m guessing most reviews won’t be kind. Which is a shame because there’s a lot to appreciate here.
The first win is the setting. A Midwestern town somewhere in America, stricken by poverty and abandoned by those who could afford to leave, it’s easy to believe the ruthless Sheriff (Mickey Rourke) and his younger brother could rule a place like this with zero consequences. The isolated nature of the town and the atmosphere of hopelessness does a lot to add to the story and elevate what could be a basic thriller into solid film-noir territory.
The second thing I enjoyed was the performance by Bella Thorne. She’s no stranger to indie films or the horror/thriller genre, starring in movies like The Babysitter (1&2), Amityville: The Awakening and Assassination Nation, just to name a few. Her role as Girl is without a doubt the strongest facet of this movie as she holds her own against veteran actor Mickey Rourke. And her grounded, believable portrayal of a young woman looking for answers in her messed-up life is one of her best to date.
Props to writer/director Chad Faust for also portraying the action set pieces in a believable manner. By that I mean, the titular Girl isn’t some martial arts aficionado or gun-slinging badass. She’s probably a hundred pounds soaking wet, so when she goes up against bigger opponents the fights go down in a realistic fashion, with the poor girl getting thrown about like a ragdoll. It also added depth to the character, by showing her tenacity and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
On the downside, the other characters introduced here are barely developed, and it would’ve been nice to see more of them and learn more of how life in this town with “the brothers” running things have affected their lives. The movie is also a bit exposition heavy and would’ve felt less of a drag (pacing wise) if this was tightened up a bit.
All in all, Girl is straightforward thriller with a strong lean towards film-noir, that was a bit too lean when it came to storytelling and character development. But due to the stellar performance by Ms Thorne, it keeps you invested in its lead long enough to see it through to the end.
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
For my review of the thriller Let Him Go you can click here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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