September 18, 2015 by Liza Lou
Seeing that Hick starred both Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), and knowing that these two were new favourites of mine, was enough to make me watch. What I didn’t realise is that Hick was going to turn out to be one of those films that made me really really mad. I guess I better explain…
Moretz plays Lulli McCullen, a girl who is trapped in a home with alcoholic parents. A girl who dreams of something better, and a girl who one day decides to chase that dream by running away to Las Vegas.The film’s start is basically this premise stretched out beyond believe and despite meeting the characters of the two named stars within fifteen minutes, it’s edges along at a dreary pace.
Redmayne’s character, Eddie Keezer picks Lulli up while she is trying to hitchhike her way to the bright lights and then subsequently leaves her two minutes later. This brief appearance isn’t enough to have much of an impact but boy does Redmayne change that later. More on that in a bit though because we need to talk about the person who dominates much of the first act and that is Blake Lively, from TV’s Gossip Girl.
Was I expecting anything at all from Lively’s characterisation of Glenda, the girl who eventually finds Lulli and takes her along for the ride? Probably not if I am honest but in fairness I warmed to her straight away. I liked her sass and the fact that she was more hardened to the world than Lulli.Don’t get me wrong here, Moretz wasn’t bad as such. I got that Lulli was ultimately a nice girl from a tough place in life but if there was outshining to be done, Lively did it. I kinda wanted Glenda to be my big sister, if my big sister encouraged me to try cocaine that is.
Anyway, this was point one of my contention with Hick as a film. Although Lively did something to make it watchable, the entire first act (and most of the second) ambled along like a typical road trip movie. At times it felt excruciatingly slow with pockets of movement that were never explained or developed. It felt like I watching the clock and waiting for something to either happen or for the film to end. When I say this film was slow, that really is an understatement.
It isn’t until the end of the third act when the film takes a complete different route and pace. It’s also when Redmayne becomes the absolute saviour of the whole thing and is bloody marvellous! Okay, maybe that’s going a little too far but he outshines both Moretz and Lively with his twisted characterisation of Eddie. He has this air of ‘something not quite right’, which of course manifests itself in the lead up to the film’s conclusion, and he made me feel uneasy. Also, have you ever noticed just how contorted Redmayne’s face can get? I did while watching this and it’s quite special. In all seriousness though, the acting isn’t the problem with this film and although Redmayne’s character was definitely the most developed there was believability coming from all three stars.
What gave me a major headache was after all that waiting around for the bulk of the film to go somewhere, the change of pace was so fast it felt scrambled. EVERYTHING flung itself together over the last twenty minutes making it disjoint itself from the ambling road trip to feel like two separate films. I just wish there would of been a little bit more cohesion and the action was dripped in slowly because by the conclusion I was missing the steadiness of the first two acts. I know right?!
Hick could of been a film full of drama had it been tweaked a little. The bits that were undeveloped at the beginning could of been drawn out a little more to break up the monotony. The action at the end could of been introduced earlier allowing the viewer more time to make sense of it all… I realise that I am completely rewriting the film here of course but this is why I got so mad. What could of been a fab film instead fell mediocre.