There is one seriously suspenseful scene in the script, and it’s suspenseful because the trailers to the movie have given it away. Nothing else in it is scary, and the third act’s a career-killing embarrassment.
I didn’t hate this slaughter-at-the-soap opera reboot. Not until it goes seriously off the rails in the third act, anyway. But don’t get your “torture porn” hopes up with the word “slaughter.” It is PG-13, after all. And this isn’t “Hostel.”
In the end, it’s up to Rae (“Insecure”), at her most glamorous, and Stanfield (“Knives Out”) at his most romantic to put this over. And as they do, The Photograph develops into something rare in the movies this and most Valentine’s Days — a romance that feels romantic.
Woods rarely softens Goldie up for the viewer. But every now and then we see the bravado drop and her “hear” what the adults she consults and storms away from are telling her — “Child Services could help…What’s your PLAN?”
Horse Girl makes a nice showcase for a writer/actress with range and fearlessness. It’s just that — dread aside — the film feels lightweight and frothy, first scene to last. She’s put her all into a character that keeps us at arm’s length and a movie that’s not serious enough for its subject — mental illness.
Fans will eat this up and probably forget it — save for the odd body blowing up — before the next comic book movie comes along. But Birds of Prey is all empowered with no idea what to do with that power, nothing of consequence, anyway.
With faith-based films, message often trumps other considerations, not a happy situation in most movie genres. Faith, Hope & Love gets the “faith” in, and the “hope” and even a hint of “love.” It’s the comedy that lets this romantic comedy down.