In Girl, an otherwise completely uninteresting film, there are two interesting performances. On the surface, this is just a B-movie that you found once in the discount DVD slot. At the same time, you have Bella Thorne doing some of her best work to date in the title role, and Mickey Rourke in his most menacing form. Is that enough to make the movie worthy of the watch? Not at all, but it gives him a personality that is otherwise lacking. Thorne’s fans will appreciate what she’s doing here, so at least they’ll be happy.
The film is a thriller that incorporates elements of revenge. When an unnamed young woman (Thorne) gets off the bus that takes her back to her small hometown in the back forest, she has a goal in mind. Your plan? Confront and kill her abusive father. As soon as she arrives in the city, which is on its last legs despite the protests of her mother (Elizabeth Saunders), she is harassed by the threatening sheriff (Rourke). When she comes home, she finds out that someone murdered him the day before. She needs answers and meets Charmer (Chad Faust) and a family heritage that she could never have imagined. There is a fight for survival. Faust not only plays the main role, but also writes and directs. Dillon Baldassero composed the score, while Kristofer Bonnell provided the camera. Supporting players include Glen Gould, Lanette Ware, and more.
Mickey Rourke and Bella Thorne are better than the material, that’s for sure. Rourke apparently made an Oscar-worthy appearance on The Wrestler, but has been largely abused since earning that Oscar nomination. Here, however, it is intense and threatening and gives extra life to a very thin character. Same goes for Thorne, who has a lot of talent that not all filmmakers can use. Here she is dangerous, sensitive and you can’t take your eyes off her. However, Chad Faust does unforgettable work (in every way, but more on that below). This is really all about Rourke and Thorne. Without them there really would be nothing to praise here.
The girl represents actor Chad Faust’s film debut, and while his direction looks promising, the script he wrote just doesn’t make the edit. Too many lines are clichés well worth eye rolls, and there are too many twists and turns in the plot. Visually you can see a gloomy mood that is not bad, but then there is a final duel between Rourke and Thorne that is incredibly colorful. It can create a giggle, but it’s so out of place with what came before that there is no way to get it working. Faust has potential behind the camera, but he’s not there yet. Maybe next time, especially if we act like we did here with Rourke and Thorne.
Now playing Girl, it will primarily appeal to those who love Bella Thorne. With this boat on your side, the movie’s flaws are easier to miss. Otherwise, it’s a movie that has way too many problems to actually recommend. Basically, Thorne fans only have to apply here. That is often the case with their film selection, even as their performances keep getting better. At some point she would be in a job as good as her, and when that happens we might have an award player in hand. Until then it’s just a waiting game. Unfortunately, girl is not such a job …
Girl is now available in theaters and on VOD.
(Photos courtesy of Screen Media)