Although there have been events to want he didn’t write a lot of it, no one writes dialogue fairly like Quentin Tarantino. We all know that as a result of so very, very many have tried, fueling a complete subgenre of blatant “Reservoir Canines” and “Pulp Fiction” imitations that mercifully started subsiding across the flip of the millennium, however nonetheless pop up at the very least a pair occasions per 12 months. What they often have in widespread is a brash confidence within the wit of their snappy patter and ingenuity of their pretzeling plots — in addition to incessantly being useless incorrect on each counts.
“Pixie” is an Irish story, and because of this additionally remembers the display work of the McDonaugh brothers of their extra Tarantino-esque modes. However this collaboration between veteran producer Barnaby Thompson (whose solely prior directorial options have been the lead-footed “St. Trinian’s” reboots) and his author son Preston goes past homage or aspirational imitation, into the realm of pale, shameless mimicry.
Worse, this bullet-riddled comedy caper set amongst equally deadly gangsters and clergymen in Eire’s picturesque rural West appears completely delighted with its personal cleverness, in inverse proportion to the quantity of precise cleverness to be discovered. A good solid and quick tempo make “Pixie” simple sufficient to take as disposable leisure. But it additionally has that annoying edge distinctive to movies that strike an angle of rakish sophistication whereas truly serving up lowbrow quips about jail rape, fats folks and menstruation. Saban Movies is releasing to U.S. theaters, digital and VOD platforms on March 5.
We meet Olivia Cooke’s titular determine at her ma’s grave, swearing right now is the day “we’ll lastly set a bomb underneath this city for what they did to you.” However Pixie’s unique plan is undone, as she’s left stewing on the airport, ready for a no-show companion to board a aircraft to San Francisco. That has a lot to do with what occurred after her ex-boyfriend Colin (Rory Fleck Byrne) and obvious present one Fergus (Fra Charge) robbed a quartet of clergymen in incongruous possession of a lot money, in addition to 15 kilos of MDMA.
Someway that contraband quickly falls into the arms of naive-but-greedy uni college students Frank (Ben Hardy) and Harland (Daryl McCormick), which Pixie shortly susses out. Although much more resourceful than both, she decides to maintain them on as short-term enterprise companions, as they struggle to determine the way to liquidate the belongings in a rush with out getting killed.
This can be tough, as varied events are already sizzling on the path of the stolen loot, together with a goon squad dominated by Pixie’s personal IRA gun runner turned industrial crime boss, Dermot (Colm Meany), and the unbelievable community of “lethal gangster clergymen” led by Father McGrath (Alec Baldwin). These two factions have a longstanding grudge match whose uneasy truce this new bother ends, with Pixie and her new besties caught within the crossfire.
Pixie is supposed to be ruthless, fearless, caustic, magnetic, a little bit of a attainable perv, but additionally considerably Manic You-Know-What Dream Lady, apparently all issues to all males. “She gained’t simply break ya, she’ll take a Kalashnikov to yer coronary heart,” one determine opines in a single amongst many labored stabs at repartee right here. Cooke handles the half with a breezy, bemused, wised-up attraction. Nonetheless, she hardly appears “all that,” and the fault lies far much less with the performer than with a personality whose superficial gloss of laboriously spelled-out Lady Energy solely underlines how strained a male-gaze assemble she is.
Nothing about Pixie is credible (least of all when she’s making an attempt to drag off a dud flippancy like “My instincts are telling me we must always get our skedaddle on”), but neither she nor the movie are flamboyantly synthetic sufficient for that to work as a deliberate gambit. The dullards, psychos, schemers and bystanders she’s surrounded with are expertly solid, however as written they’re one-dimensional with out the zest of outsized caricature. Sudden violent reversals of fortune ring hole; nothing right here has resonance on the one hand, or actual wit on the opposite. The climactic slo-mo bullet ballet in a church would possibly as nicely be a pie struggle, the entire enterprise having grown so foolish by then.
Proper by way of the closing credit, the Thompsons preserve a tone of cheeky swagger at distinct odds with the stuff this film is definitely strutting. After some time, “Pixie” seems like that man on the celebration who’s laughing too lengthy, too exhausting at jokes that aren’t superb — and he’s the man telling them. The movie’s packaging is its best power, at the same time as its polish finally highlights the flimsy content material.
All of the floor components are in place for a rollicking comedy thriller, besides thrills don’t look like Thompson Sr.’s robust go well with, and humor will not be Thompson Jr.’s both. To dive this deep into borrowed Tarantino territory, you should have a agency grasp on these two issues at the very least, and in each respects, “Pixie” is a weak handshake satisfied it’s making a knockout impression.