Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hick (2011)

While hitchhiking to Las Vegas, a runaway teenager runs into some serious trouble. Trying to escape Nick (Anson Mount), her alcoholic father and her inept mother, Luli (Chole Grace Moretz) forms a partnership with an unstable grifter named Glenda (Blake Lively).

Armed with a handgun (which happens to be a birthday present) and looking for adventure, Luli begins to enjoy her new life….until she runs into Lloyd (Ray McKinnon) and Eddie (Eddie Redmayne). Luli cherishes the student/mentor relationship with Glenda, but Llyod wants some time alone with Glenda, and Luli becomes a victim of Eddie’s violent and erratic behavior.

With the exception of some beautiful countryside shots, Director Derick Martini’s style is pretty dull.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, for some strange reason, Blake Lively becomes a better actress, when she portrays a trashy woman. Glenda is an unstable coke-head, who befriends a runaway teenage girl, and Lively provides one of the better performances in this film. Moretz is solid in the leading role, but her character sends out too many mixed and uncomfortable signals (more on that later). Eddie Redmayne is a convincing lowlife. McKinnon, Alec Baldwin, Anson Mount, and Juliette Lewis (she plays Moretz’s mother) aren’t worth mentioning, because they don’t receive a significant amount of screen time.

Acting isn’t the problem here. The cast is strong, but the story is an undecipherable mess. Why is Luli running away? Is she seeking revenge against her neglectful parents? Is she trying to grow up too fast? Is she looking for a relationship with an older man? Or is Luli trying to become a professional grifter? Luli’s motivations are unclear throughout this film, and the story is just one big confusing mess.

I’m not sure of her actual age, but in real life, Chole Grace Moretz is a young teenage girl. In this movie, Moretz’s character wears skimpy and revealing clothing, and she constantly flirts with older men. Martini tries to turn Moretz into a piece of eye candy, but she’s too young to portray this sort of character, and Luli’s flirty mannerisms cause some genuine awkward moments.

Hick tries to be a cautionary tale about kids running away from home. And you know what, Hick showed some early signs of potential. The cast provides a nice set of good performances, but the story quickly devolves into a mess, and I can’t ignore the creepy pedophilic undertones. Hick is based on a novel, but after watching the movie, I will avoid the book at all costs.

Final Rating: 0/10

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