Story Lets Down Chloe Grace Moretz in Stupid ‘Hick’

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Average: 4.4 (12 votes)
HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

CHICAGO – It’s understandable that people from the Southern or rural United States would criticize the general media. With films like “Hick,” which generally portray them as idiots or sociopathic, there is no balance or honest characterizations. Chloe Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne and Alec Baldwin add their take on it all.

This is a strange and thoughtless film, with characters that meet each other one second, and become emotionally or too familiarly involved the next. It supposes that a 13-year old girl would get a gun for her birthday, and then hook up – Wizard of Oz-like – with a cast of stereotypes that will become her new family. Alec Baldwin plays a guy named Beau, which is all you need to know about the authenticity of this story.

Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz) is restless on her 13th birthday. Her main present is a handgun, and her parents (Juliette Lewis and Anson Mount) are drunkenly arguing about who is going to take her home from the bar. She is rebellious at a young age, fantasizing about being a movie star in an age that looks like the late 1970s. She draws a lot on a sketchpad, rendering snapshots of her miserable life, especially the loss of a brother in childbirth. She is ready for a change.

Blake Lively (Glenda) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Luli) in ‘Hick’
Blake Lively (Glenda) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Luli) in ‘Hick’
Photo credit: Phase 4 Films

A chance commercial on television beckons her to Las Vegas. She collects her meager belongings, including the gun, and starts hitchhiking to Crapsville. The first encounter is with Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), a cowboy with a limp who takes an unnatural shine to her. After leaving him, she is picked up by Glenda (Blake Lively) who brings Luli to a bizarre kind of Oz, which involves a rich eccentric named Lloyd (Ray McKinnon), an encounter with Eddie again and a ton of secrets about all the connections that ultimately lead to Beau (Alec Baldwin).

There is no honesty in the story, just a bunch of screenplay hackery that is unexpected, given that the writer (Andrea Portes) is adapting her own novel. Luli is an above-it-all fake, after setting up her background as the kid with the drunken parents. Her intoned narration underneath her cutesy drawings is annoying, and her switch from birthday girl to streetwise tough is as sorry as it sounds. In fact, all the character portrayals are off the map, which reveals that director Derick Martini (“Lymelight”) had little control over his own film.

Worst off is Eddie Redmayne, who was the “my” character in the recent “My Week with Marilyn.” His Eddie role is way too over the top, and switches more gears than an 18-wheeler. With little or no development, he is comforting, dumb, seductive and evil. He seems to be owed something by everybody in whatever town they are in, so his obsession with a 13 year-old can be forgiven? In any real life scenario this bum would have been incinerated long ago.

Other characters seem to be “stop-bys,” designed to boost the star power in marketing the film rather than adding artistry to it. Juliette Lewis continues to try and outdo her crazy-and-misunderstood persona, and her drunken mother character is awash in clichés. Blake Lively has little screen time, but manages to adopt Luli, down a shot, share cocaine and reveal about 10 different secrets. Alec Baldwin is the oddest addition, shuffling in toward the end, playing Beau as if he knows everything, a plaid shirt wearing savior.

Thankless: Eddie Redmayne (Eddie) in ‘Hick’
Thankless: Eddie Redmayne (Eddie) in ‘Hick’
Photo credit: Phase 4 Films

If there is any redeeming factor about it, it’s the oddness of the whole narrative, which is so weird that sometimes it becomes intriguing. Luli, for example, changes hair color three quarters into the film, which felt like maybe the previous stuff had been dreamt by an abused child. But no, there is an implausible explanation, and the story and characters went on (this is around where Beau comes in). It was so disjointed it practically was surreal.

This was a messy script that shouldn’t have gone into production, or it was a longer film that was chopped into an unrecognizable result. Either way, the film stinks, and it’s not worth the effort to try and understand why.

“Hick” continues its limited release in Chicago on May 25th, and was released through Video on Demand. See local listings for theaters, show times and VOD channel locations. Featuring Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne, Juliette Lewis, Ray McKinnon and Alec Baldwin. Screenplay adapted by Andrea Portes, from her novel. Directed by Derick Martini. Rated “R”

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Senior Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2012 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Anonymous22222's picture

How can anyone make a

How can anyone make a review, talk about the performance and not mention the lead actress?

RobertMer's picture

Amazing

Barely a mention of Miss Moretz outside of the headline. Truly odd.

To steal some of the reviewer’s own words: This was a messy review that shouldn’t have gone online, or it was a longer review that was chopped into an unrecognizable result.

fred2222's picture

lol Chloe and her character

lol Chloe and her character are mentioned several times in the review. Sorry, but this movie sucks, no matter how obsessed you want to be with her.

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