Netflix action "Sweet Girl" with Jason Momoa - Singapore KISS

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Netflix action "Sweet Girl" with Jason Momoa

Sunday, August 22, 2021

 Released last Friday, the Netflix original "Sweet Girl" relies primarily on a very central plot twist that turns much of what we've seen before on its head. But the twist doesn't make things better, on the contrary!

M. Night Shyamalan's twist at the end of "The Sixth Sense" is not so ingenious because it leaves you breathless when you suddenly understand that the child psychologist Malcolm Crowe, embodied by Bruce Willis, has been dead for a long time - and Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) could only interact with him because the disturbed boy is known to "see dead people" ...

The twist at the end of "The Sixth Sense" is so ingenious because the film still works (almost) as well the second time you watch it as it did the first. The atmosphere is simply fantastic - and when you know that Malcolm is dead, you suddenly discover a lot of little details that already point to the twist, but that you overlooked the first time.

And that brings us to the twist of "Sweet Girl":

In "Sweet Girl," martial arts trainer Ray Cooper (Jason Momoa) embarks on a murderous vendetta with his teenage daughter Rachel (Isabela Merced) against the pharmaceutical bosses he blames for the death of his wife, who died of cancer. But after a number of attacks have already succeeded and the FBI has closely followed Ray Cooper's heels, it suddenly turns out:

Ray has actually been dead for two years!

While the audience automatically assumed at the insertion "24 months later" that Ray has recovered from a previously suffered stabbing during this period, in reality he has long since succumbed to his severe wound. His daughter Rachel has suffered from a split personality since the loss of both parents and has committed the revenge attacks all by herself - always under the morbid notion that she is her own father.


Immediately, there is the usual montage, as you know it from the twist in "Fight Club": You see short clips from earlier scenes again, but now with Rachel as the murdering assassin. The only difference is that you don't hit your own forehead like in a really good twist and groan: "Damn, why didn't I figure that out myself, all the necessary clues were there, I just should have looked closer!"

True, some particularly odd scenes, such as the phone call between Rachel and FBI agent Sarah Meeker (Lex Scott Davis), no longer seem quite so absurd with the knowledge of the twist. But no actual clever groundwork was done - Rachel just stood by uninvolved for most of the first run anyway and did almost nothing herself. So of course it's easy to pull such a twist out of the hat.


So the only lasting effect of the twist is that the already not very credible movie finally goes over the edge! There is a single scene that was obviously built in just to set up the twist: In it, Rachel, who trains in her father's gym, beats up a fully trained MMA fighter. In the end, the trainers even have to intervene to prevent Rachel from seriously injuring the knocked-out opponent.

This scene is meant to explain why Rachel can later beat up her opponents just as mercilessly as Jason Momoa. But even if at first it might seem like a positive feminist statement that even a not particularly muscular teenage girl can put full-grown fighters in their place, it just seems ridiculous to then actually see it on the TV screen.

That might work in a self-deprecating comedy like "Kevin - Alone at Home", but not in a straightforward and emphatically humorless actioner like this one. And that's probably the biggest problem of "Sweet Girl" anyway: The film presents its nonsensical plot with a downright tiring seriousness. Unfortunately, you can't really take anything seriously here...

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