Sweet Girl review: Jason Momoa is the only thing that packs a punch in Netflix thriller

Sweet Girl: Jason Momoa stars in Netflix trailer

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Since Liam Neeson released Taken in 2008 I can’t help but feel like cinema has been inundated with uninspired and flaky testosterone-filled adventures. Most of the time, these films end up being a lot like Without Remorse – entirely forgettable. Others, on the other hand, turn out like the now-legendary John Wick. Netflix’s new film Sweet Girl errs towards more John Wick – but not completely. 

Jason Momoa plays the loveable role of Ray Cooper, a man who loses his wife to cancer in one of the film’s early scenes.

Things are made even more emotional when it is uncovered that the drug which could have helped Ray’s wife was pulled off shelves to save money and boost the profits of a local billionaire, leaving Ray to look after his daughter, Rachel (Isabela Merced), alone.

Momoa, who is best known for appearing as Arthur Curry in Aquaman and the DC Comics films, settles in nicely to playing the raucous tough guy who will battle anyone head-on – but he does show a lot of depth in Sweet Girl.

The aforementioned emotional scenes allow him to demonstrate just how talented he can be during these deeper moments. 

Multiple times throughout the film Momoa shows he can really act – and not just by throwing people through windows and walls – with beautifully heartfelt performances that are sometimes tear-jerking. Hopefully, we see more of this side of the star in the future.

After discovering a conspiracy covering up some high-level fraud and political influence, Ray and Rachel are forced to run away from the killers now pursuing them.

The plot of Sweet Girl is mostly boilerplate. With Rachel’s mother dead, it is Ray’s responsibility to do “whatever it takes” to keep his shrinking family safe, no matter what.

Although the beginning pieces of the film delve into the horrors of a privatised healthcare system and how dangerous pharmaceutical companies can be, these themes fall ever-flat.

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Some early moments feel like they have something to say… but they never have any substance behind them. Its points come across more like the bullet-pointed list with no actual call to action.

Regardless, once Ray and Rachel go on the run, the action part of the movie really settles in. They are pitted against faceless bounty hunters and one trained assassin (Dominic Fumusa) who stand in the way of their justice.

The rest of the film, the broad strokes of Sweet Girl are entirely predictable – until the end.

With just under 20 minutes left of the film, I was convinced I had everything figured out, but the movie’s final crescendo into a third act is breathtaking.

Without spoiling anything, Momoa’s performance really takes a turn on just how good he is as an actor.

Although the final switch I am vaguely referencing is supremely entertaining and completely unexpected, it does also feel a little futile.

Some moments spotted earlier in the film soon become baffling, while the future of the story feels even less probable.

Thankfully, Momoa is backed up by the quite impressive young Rachel actor, Merced along the way.

The 20-year-old actor really puts her best foot forward, delivering a few memorable moments throughout the film, even though her character is at-time infuriating. 

This is elevated further by the fatherly connection she builds with Momoa throughout the movie, making their entire dynamic more heart-filled.

CONCLUSION

Sweet Girl is as unexpectedly great as it is generic. Large portions of the film are extremely predictable, with most of the plot falling flat if you think about it for too long. With that said, Jason Momoa is a powerhouse. Whether he’s crying alone in a hallway or fighting off three assailants at once, he is a joy to watch, and cannot be faulted. He also brings the best out of his on-screen daughter, Isabela Merced, who equally gives a fantastic adventure to the film. The final act of the film is jaw-dropping, and viewers will certainly walk away remembering that moment for years to come.

Sweet Girl is on Netflix now.

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