Japan Release date: 24th November 2012
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 6th July 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I rarely check out much about a film before watching it; I tend to go more on instinct, which usually works out ok. I wasn’t all that sure about this one though so I had a quick peek on how well it scored across various sites. I was in for a shock; it scored really badly and it was then that I had to know why; hence the viewing. Well I have to admit they were, to a greater extent right, it’s not very good and I’ll tell you why after this very brief summary.
When her parents, Nick (Anson Mount) and Tammy (Juliette Lewis) abandon her just after her 13th birthday, Luli McMullen (Chloë Grace Moretz) decides to leave her home in Nebraska and head for the bright lights of Las Vegas. She has no money and so sets off walking. She is first picked up by a cowboy, Eddie (Eddie Redmayne) who seems nice at first but soon reveals he has a temper. Not wishing to stay in his company, Luli makes him stop and she gets back to walking. She is next picked up by a woman, Glenda (Blake Lively), who she helps rob a convenience store. She bumps into Eddie again at a bowling alley and again later at Glenda’s place where her husband, Lloyd (Ray McKinnon) has employed him. All of these meetings are more than coincidence; Eddie has a connection to Glenda and plans for Luli.
I first have to say that I have no problems with the performances; everyone did a great job in that department. Throughout the film Luli is drawing in a sketch book as she narrates and I really liked the simplicity of the drawings. No, what let it down (IMO) was a poorly put together script. They say it’s a bad idea to let the writer of a novel attempt the screenplay and I suspect this is a case in point. It probably works very well as a book, but it really didn’t work on the screen in this form. I like the actors fine but I found little to like in the characters. Our main focus, Luli, has very few redeeming features; she was a victim of circumstance all the way through and I found it quite frustrating to watch I’m afraid. Sadly not one I can recommend.
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED
My score: 4.9/10.
IMDb Score: 5.4/10 (based on 7,322 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 28/100: (Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 37/100 (based on 4,945 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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