Is KICK-ASS’ Chloe Grace Moretz A Modern Day Lolita in HICK?May 22, 2012

Is KICK-ASS’ Chloe Grace Moretz A Modern Day Lolita in HICK?

Phase 4 Films

On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: HICK (Phase 4 Films).

 

HICK

By Chris Claro

 

The small-town nymphet has been the stuff of drama since time immemorial; BABY DOLL, LOLITA, and HOUNDDOG centered on the ripening sexuality of an adolescent girl and each film generated a storm of negative publicity. The debate around whether or not such stories are exploitative is ongoing and often more substantive than the films on which it focuses.

The latest entry to the list of films about dewy young things treading the line between innocence and infamy is Derick Martini’s HICK, starring Chloe Grace Moretz (KICK-ASS) as Luli. Abandoned by her mother (Juliette Lewis, who knows a thing or two about playing an underage sexpot) Luli sets off on a sketchily planned journey to Las Vegas by thumbing a ride with cowboy Eddie (Eddie Redmayne, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN). So begins an episodic and often unpleasant odyssey that sees Luli act as criminal accomplice, sexual plaything, and surrogate child for the myriad losers she encounters.

 


Chloe Grace Moretz / HICK (Phase 4 Films)

Filled with the requisite tropes of the genre, including skeevy pervs, shady ladies, and low-level crime bosses, HICK is tolerable for a while, and Moretz is convincing in her role as a lost girl, despite the amateurish narration written by screenwriter Andrea Portes, who also wrote the novel on which it was based. (It’s rarely wise to have a writer adapt his or her own work for another medium, and Portes’s overwritten, underplotted script does nothing to refute that.) But as Luli finds herself in deeper with unbalanced bronc buster Eddie, HICK adopts an almost voyeuristic vibe that makes it hard to stomach.

 


Blake Lively, Chloe Grace Moretz / HICK (Phase 4 Films)

Watching Luli get schooled in the ways of the world, and seeing her learn how to sniff coke from a tarted-up Blake Lively add to the peep-show tenor of the film. Not even a late appearance by the always-watchable Alec Baldwin can keep HICK from being a rote exercise in Tennessee Williams-lite.

 


Alec Baldwin / HICK (Phase 4 Films)

 

Additionally, the film has one of the most overbearing, distracting, and no doubt expensive, music scores ever. Nearly every scene is accompanied by a song, with four each from Bob Dylan and Patsy Cline. Throw in Joan Jett, Kenny Rogers, the Mills Brothers, the Cars, and Canned Heat and it’s easy to get the feeling that director Martini is more interested in showing off his record collection than he is in telling a compelling story.

Ultimately, HICK is a major disappointment, with a cast of solid actors stranded in an overworked story riddled with clichés. A muddled jumble of coming-of-age story and road movie, HICK is neither here nor there. Don’t get stranded with it.

 

SKIP IT

 

- Chris Claro

 

Chris
Chris Claro is a contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to dvdverdict.com and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of huffingtonpost.com

 

HICK (Phase 4) can be found on your cable's system's movies on demand section.

 

See Chris' Other Reviews & Interviews...

SLEEPLESS NIGHT - DEMAND IT

THE GIANT MECHANICAL MAN - SKIP IT

COMIC-CON EPISODE FOUR: A FAN’S HOPE - DEMAND IT

THE HUNTER - DEMAND IT

DETACHMENT - DEMAND IT

AFTER FALL, WINTER - SKIP IT

LOOSIES - TRY IT

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