Where would you be willing to go for love? Depending on the films and genres that ask this question, the solutions are the most disparate, thinking for example of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar or Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, but there is particular cinematic compartmentalization that brings the question up decidedly more violent shores, and it is that of revenge movies.
We saw it first with John Wick, a killer moved by the death of his beloved dog, and more recently with A Promising Woman, where everything was linked to the disappearance of the protagonist's best friend, and now it's time for Brian Andrew Mendoza's Sweet Girl. , original Netflix title landed in the last hours of streaming on the platform.
The story follows Raymond "Ray" Cooper (Jason Momoa), happily married to Amanda (Adria Arjona) and father of Rachel (Isabela Merced), who painfully loses his lifelong partner due to late-stage cancer. save mainly for the withdrawal from the market of a very promising experimental drug.
Intent on avenging Rachel's death and seeing clear on the strategic and disinterested moves of the pharmaceutical company BioPrime led by Simon Keely (Justin Bartha), Ray embarks on a personal mission that will unfortunately also involve his daughter Amanda, his Sweet Girl, however combative, courageous and not at all defenseless.
Sweet Girl is the first feature film directed by Brian Andrew Mendoza, but the career of the new filmmaker is actually studded with many projects between cinema and television as a producer. Nine, to be exact, three of which starring Jason Momoa, who could almost be defined as a fetish of him, certainly a long-time collaborator
It is not strange that for his debut behind the camera, Mendoza chose the interpreter of Aquaman for a slightly different role from his usual ones, certainly based on the action and muscular presence of the actor but - strangely - also on an honestly unexpected acting rehearsal on the dramatic juncture.
Momoa in fact gives emotion and intensity to his character, moved by conflicting feelings but linked to the desire to remember and avenge the memory of his wife. Beside him we find a good Isabela Merced, she too capable of inserting her character in the right emotional and dramatic dimension, forming a credible and well-matched couple together with Momoa, with good alchemy on screen.
On the interpretative side, in short, Sweet Girl works honestly very well (to underline also the good actor's performance a little like Anton Chigurh by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), as well as in several action scenes conceived with a discreet study of camera movements and shooting points. (the fistfight on the train), without ever reaching who knows what virtuous peaks but packing a pleasant and very enjoyable job.
The film's problems arise in the script and storytelling stage. In the first case, the negative factor is the narrative pretext that triggers the plot, because with the continuation of the minutes the whole Big Pharma conspiracy is not deepened as it should and, indeed, quickly loses its centrality concerning the open "manhunt" against Ray, also this one elaborated thoroughly and managed in waves.
The basic structure of the film is very reminiscent of some '10s titles such as Faster with The Rock, and it is also upstream that Sweet Girl undergoes and perpetuates the same formal and productive lightness of Mendoza's previous works such as Braven - Il Coraggioso or Road to Paloma.
The qualitative measure would be practically the same if it were not for a much better cast direction and for scaffolding of the action that seems to look at the cinema of Jaume Collet-Serra, was not constantly dampened by a fluctuating rhythm that often and willingly sinks also the pursuit of pursuits, confrontations or hand-to-hand combat.
An original not exactly noteworthy but who knows the fact of him, Sweet Girl. A sufficiently satisfying debut to fish with curiosity from the Netflix basket outlet to enjoy an evening in the company of a very good Momoa and some decidedly adrenaline-fueled fights. Nothing surprising on the horizon, but as a tastefully shot B-film film it is not bad at all and may even please the most hardcore fans of the genre and lovers of the cinematic sub-categories more than it should.
Making his debut behind the camera after a long career as a producer, Brian Andrew Mendoza packs Sweet Girl into a sometimes pressing revenge movie with a good cast with deep B-series traits. It works mostly in the acting - a very intense Jason Momoa. - and in the juncture action, often directed with a good cinematic eye, but caracolled on scenreading, rhythm, and narration. The front against Big Pharma soon turns out to be spurious and not very detailed, while the plot becomes less and less central to leave room for melee, chases, shootings, and a manhunt against the protagonist. A film straight out of the '10s, which, however, knows the fact of him when he has to.