Monday, October 1, 2012

Chloe's Got a Gun...

Hick (2011) / US / Out on DVD now / Directed by Derek Martini / Written by Andrea Portes (from her book of the same name) / Starring Chloe Moretz, Eddie Redmayne, Blake Lively, Juliette Lewis, Alec Baldwin, Rory Culkin / 94 minutes

You know those movies where they go all out on trying to portray how "real" people grow up in the "real" world? They try so hard, and in the end, they just end up becoming really, well, pretentious.

One such movie is Hick, starring Chloe Moretz, Eddie Redmayne and Blake Lively, which slipped under the radar when it was released earlier this year. The film follows 13 year old Luli (Moretz), who decides that life in her small, backwoodsish town isn't enough for her. She sets off for the bright lights of Las Vegas, even though she's only 13. All's well, though, because she's put a pistol in her bag and she hopes that the fact that she's wearing hardly anything will get her enough friends to get her to Las Vegas. First she meets Eddie (Redmayne), a drifting cowboy who agrees to give her a ride until she pisses him off, and she's back on her feet again. Then she comes across grifter Glenda (Lively), who gives her a ride on the condition that Luli becomes an accessory in Glenda's cons. Everything is pretty straight-forward up until then, but then Eddie comes back into the picture and things start getting a little strange...and incomprehensible.

The biggest fault with this movie is that you can see how director Derek Martini is always trying to strive for something different, something controversial, something thought-provoking. Unfortunately, he and his screenwriter Andrea Portes mistake trying to make something different, controversial and thought-provoking as the easy way out of telling an actual story. And so, the film becomes an excuse for a child actor, in this case Chloe Moretz, to prove to everyone that they aren't just reduced to kids films. Which brings us to the next problem: Chloe Moretz has done these types of roles before, and she's damn good at them considering how young she is. So with that in mind, it is hard to see what this film is trying to achieve. Sure, it could be a 'loss of innocence' story, but it goes the complete wrong way about doing that. Mainly because when the film finally comes to a close, we get this cutsie, happy ending. However, while it tries to tie everything up, we are left wondering whether our heroine has learned anything from her experience. And that doesn't count for a 'loss of innocence' story, because there's the possibility that Luli will go on being naive for the rest of her life.

Hick pretty much fails as a gripping film, but the performances just about keep the film above water. While the story was pretty unbelievable, Moretz did a better job of portraying a teenager than she did in Dark Shadows. Although, considering the material in this film, I found it almost painful that she was being pushed around for the sake of ignoring good story-telling. Blake Lively was okay, considering I'm not her biggest fan, though her character also contributed to how far-reaching this film was, and most of the time, I didn't even understand what was going on with her. Another character I didn't understand was Eddie, who seemed to have all sorts of ulterior motives for Luli, but flicked his sanity on and off like a switch. However, Eddie Redmayne gives a solid performance, which has me feeling better about the guy after being the blandest love interest ever in My Week with Marilyn. Alec Baldwin pops up for some supposed good will, there's a random scene with Rory Culkin and Juliette Lewis is in it for about five minutes. Thank goodness it was only five minutes, because she was about a millilitre of peroxide away from going totally Eva Green a la Dark Shadows.

I honestly don't know what else I could say about this film, apart from the fact that it is so horribly confused about everything. Sure, that's what growing up is like...but this isn't the kind of film that is smart enough to have its structure carry a metaphorical meaning.

-Eddie Redmayne isn't really as boring as My Week with Marilyn made you believe.
-Chloe Moretz does a pretty good job.
-If wanna see Chloe try and impersonate Clint Eastwood.
-If you're into movies about chicks with guns.

-It's generally just a huge mess of a film.
-If you like to know what is going on, this probably ain't the film for you.
-Juliette Lewis is in it for five minutes playing a trashy character. We all know how this goes.
-Chances are you'll feel a little awkward watching it.
-It isn't all that controversial, even though it wants to be.
-It tries to be a heart-warming film at the end of it all, but it is hardly The King's Speech.

What I got:


  1. Great review. I'm definitely seeing this one, even if it is a mess. :)

    1. Not particularly. I did like her performances in Let Me In and Hugo though.

  2. Chloe trying to impersonate Clint Eastwood? That's it! I'm seeing it!

    1. Haha, she tries to impersonate a lot of people. It was kinda bizarre.


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