Review: Netflix’s Sweet Girl strays from story, fails to return


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Netflix’s “Sweet Girl” received a 5.5/10 rating on IMDB. TRL’s Audrey McCaffity said the characters’ “failed attempt” to add tension gives the movie a D rating.

Using time jumps and action sequences to piece together a broken storyline, “Sweet Girl” takes away the focus of the plot creating another boring revenge story. Netflix released the movie on Aug. 20. It remains in the top 10 movies and shows in the United States while on the platform, but has fallen short of being critically acclaimed. 

Opening up, the movie immediately starts with what seems to be the end of Ray Cooper (Jason Mamoa’s) journey. However, it quickly jumps to years earlier where we learn that his wife is dying of cancer, and they are unable to afford treatment. It is here where we are first introduced to the “dark side” of Mamoa’s character, as he threatens Bioprime’s, a pharmaceutical company, CEO on live television. After his wife’s death, he goes to meet a potential source of information who could call attention to the illegal bribes Bioprime participated in that took away an affordable generic version of a lifesaving cancer treatment. He is consequently stabbed by a hitman and the movie then jumps two years into the future. This leads to a series of murders that Ray and his teenage daughter Rachel (Isabela Merced) constantly run away from. The hitman also frequently reappears throughout the movie but doesn’t add anything but more physical conflict. The character appears to be a failed attempt to add more tension to the movie, but as the movie continues on he only adds to the boring repetition of the action. 

About three quarters of the movie is spent on the action sequences mentioned above, but as the screen returns to the opening sequence, a plot twist is revealed. This twist does little to nothing to add to the plot and seems to make the movie go on for far too long. Continuing on from this point, the movie continues to explore a path of revenge and justice seeking, but the underlying plot on affordable healthcare has seemingly disappeared. Action movies need to have something that can be fixed through the action, not just a hope for some change led by anger. “Sweet Girl” fails to do this. 

The movie’s score and cinematography are also average at best. Both do nothing to add to a movie that desperately needs help. While the movie is lacking in many aspects, the actors are in no way part of the performance. Anyone can tell that Mamoa works best in the comfort of action movies, and this is no exception.

The ending attempts to reconcile the original plotline, but does so in a rushed and simple fashion with more threats and violence. Though the end shows a sliver of justice, the audience is left wondering if there is more to the story and if real change will happen. Ultimately, the story of “Sweet Girl” could have explored the fight for justice after a family experiences an unacceptable loss. Substituting this for the violent approach of the main character would have created a stronger and more original story that left viewers inspired or at least interested. 

Rating: D