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Review: Sweet Girl (2021) 

5 Star.png
5 Star.png

#Cinema, #Film, #movie review

David North-Martino

Aug 26, 2021

Review: Sweet Girl (2021) 

Sweet Girl is an action thriller directed by Brian Andrew Mendoza, written by Philip Eisner (Event Horizon) and Gregg Hurwitz (The Book of Henry), and stars Jason Momoa(Aquaman, Braven) and Isabela Merced (Sicario: Day of the Soldado).

The first two-thirds of Sweet Girl (2021) plays out like a poorly written revenge thriller. Jason Momoa does well as an everyman and Isabela Merced has great chemistry playing his daughter. I liked how Momoa played an action hero without military or police experience. Instead, he has MMA training and is a hunter.
The movie struggles with no clear villain throughout the runtime. They keep tagging off different characters, but we never get emotionally invested with any antagonists and most have no direct connection to the vengeance plot. 

The FBI adds nothing to the narrative and none of the ancillary characters have an arc. Lex Scott Davis’s (The First Purge) character is not believable as an FBI lead agent and her partner (Michael Raymond-James—Jack Reacher) is ineffectual, I can only imagine, by design. 

For a revenge thriller to work, you need a very simple plot. It goes something like this: the protagonist has a family member or friend murdered horribly by the antagonist. Suffering injustice, and with nothing to lose, the protagonist mounts a suicide mission to kill the guilty and kill them in horrible ways. This type of fiction works because it provides the viewer with a cathartic release.

Unfortunately, Sweet Girl is convoluted, and we don’t get what might be the main storyline until over an hour in. 

Then when you think the movie can’t become any worse—it does. In maybe the worst twist in film history, we get a surprise out of left field. It left me wondering why I wasted two hours of my life watching this thing. From there, we suffer through one unbelievable scene after another until time runs out. 

Who is responsible for this mess? The director? The screenwriters? Maybe studio meddling caused this picture's downfall. There’s enough blame to go around. 

If the film played out the way I thought it would, I was prepared to give it two stars and say it was very flawed but watchable, especially because of Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced’s performances. As it stands, with the crazy twist that ends a frame story, I can’t even give it that. 

Sweet Girl is available to stream on Netflix.

Story Doctoring:
Feed the script into the shredder. There’s no saving this film. 
Okay, that quip may be funny, but it’s lazy. If you’re going to do a twist, set it up. With that said, I’d probably drop the twist and turn this film into a standard revenge thriller. It would require a new antagonist who horribly murders a loved one. I’d keep the relationship with father and daughter. That’s something they got right. 

Rating: One out of five stars 


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