03rd Sep2013

‘Hick’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Rory Culkin, Anson Mount, Juliette Lewis, Eddie Redmayne, Alec Baldwin| Written by Andrea Portes | Directed by Derick Martini

Hick-Moretz

If I was asked to name a young actor or actress that I thought was going to be a big deal in the coming years of cinema, I’d have a few to choose from, but one name at the top of that list would have to be Chloe Moretz. Her performances in films like Kick-Ass, Hugo and Let Me In have been memorable and she seems to just keep getting better as she gets older.

Hick, in which Ms. Moretz is the main star, is a funny sort of film. An independent movie filmed in 2011, prior to Hugo, Hick was made on a fairly small budget and directed by Derick Martini, a guy whose directing chops are limited, very limited. This made for an experience of “let’s see what happens” as I sat down to watch a film I knew little about, made by someone I knew nothing about.

Luckily the cast drew me in, with Moretz rubbing elbows with the likes of Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn), Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), Blake Lively (The Town) and Alec Baldwin (Cats & Dogs). This gave me a little more confidence in the film, a good, talented cast.

The story isn’t deep, it’s fairly basic. Moretz plays Luli, a young girl whose parents (one of whom is a drunken and neglectful Juliette Lewis) leave her to fend for herself and don’t show her attention or care. She decides to wave goodbye to the homestead and head out on the road, thumb in the air, and go to Las Vegas. From here she meets a variety of characters and the young Luli’s life is changed forever with a mixture of experiences she’ll never forget.

The first thing I have to say about this film is something that bothers me. Chloe Moretz, who was 14 years old when the film was released, wears very skimpy clothing during the movie and the character of Lulu, like many Moretz characters have been, is very mature for her age. It’s uncomfortable to watch a young girl shown in a sexualised manner on screen like this, and it made the film much harder to enjoy in my view.

Still, there are some good things going on in Hick. Moretz’s performance is good, she’s tough yet filled with glimmers of naivety that a child would be filled with. Her relationships with the people in the film show a girl in need of someone to care about her, tell her she’s pretty and make her feel like they want to spend time around her. Eddie Redmayne, who is a posh British lad from London, does a commendable job as a southern, erm, “hick”. Alec Baldwin pops in towards the end in what feels like a favour to a friend, but he gives a warm performance which is important as the film winds down.

Hick is the sort of film that is flawed in so many ways yet still entertains enough to keep you watching until the end. I couldn’t help but feel like the film was directionless at times, feeling like it was changing in tone at random moments and not really being able to decide whether it wanted to be serious or silly.

Entertaining yet stiff and a little chaotic, Hick is an independent film worth 90 minutes of your time but I doubt many people would watch it a second time. It’s palatable yet frustrating in equal measure, but it goes to show that disarray is more interesting than just trying to blend into the rest of the pack.

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