Jason Mamoa tries his best imitation of an angry Jason Bourne and it falls short in execution in this action thriller
Ray Cooper (Jason Mamoa) is on a path of revenge against a powerful pharmaceutical company, which he believes is responsible for the death of his wife. His first priority is, however, to keep his daughter Rachel (Isabela Merced) safe.
For any film to have a compelling narrative, the most essential ingredient is to have a well-defined arc for the protagonists, or even the antagonists. If this cannot be established within the first act, then the story faces a monumental task to keep the audiences hooked till the very end. Sweet Girl, unfortunately, falls into this particular category, as Ray Cooper’s motivations and reasoning to go after the ‘evil corporation’ are not convincing enough.
While the twist-climax manages to justify them to a certain extent, it was a little too late into the narrative and therefore, lacks a certain degree of conviction. This shocking twist is one of the few moments in the story that gives the film a sense of intrigue. However, it also lets the narrative fall into an endless pit of questions and plot holes. While these plot holes can be brushed aside on a technicality, the writing lacked the finer nuances to validate the twist ending.
The overall story is identical to season two of the Marvel-Netflix TV show, The Punisher. Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle/The Punisher becomes a father figure to a teenage girl, as they are hunted down by a deadly assassin hired by powerful men. While The Punisher was a critically acclaimed masterpiece, Sweet Girl is unable to repackage the story into an engrossing watch. There are also hints of the Bourne franchise in certain parts, which are not difficult to miss.
The performances of the two leads, Jason Mamoa and Isabela Merced, are commendable. However, the performances of the supporting cast on the other hand left a lot to be desired. There were fairly decent action sequences scattered across the movie, but none that would have one’s eyes glued to the screen. The philosophical monologues by Jason Mamaoa’s character at the beginning and end of the film did not match his character’s arc and stuck out like a sore thumb. The subplot about another twist at the end, with regards to the mastermind behind the conspiracy, was cliche and obvious from the start.
The film is a letdown from the get-go and might not even appeal to even the most ardent Jason Mamo fans.