Vincent N Roxxy: When in Doubt, Turn to Meaninglessly Gory Violence
Emile HirschZoë Kravitz...
Gary Michael Schultz
In 1 Cinema
A lot could have been done with the romantic-crime-thriller Vincent N Roxxy but director Gary Michael Schultz –in his second-feature after 2013’s Devil in My Ride – seems to be holding back. Set against a dreary, clichéd and seemingly hollow Louisiana backdrop, the general tone and the pacing of the movie is off from the very start with Schultz, who also pens the story, struggling to keep things interesting for, turning to graphic and seemingly redundant violence when all else seems to fail.
The story opens with an accidental meet between seemingly lonely drifter, Vincent (Hirsch) and Roxxy (Kravitz); an edgy damsel-in-distress who Vincent saves from a car wreck. After helping her beat off her attacker, the two soon drive off together in Vincent’s vintage muscle-car, with Vincent extending an open invitation to the pretty stranger to come and stay at his family’s farm until she figures things out.
Reuniting with his troublesome brother J.C (Cohen struggling to maintain his southern drawl), who shares their home with bartender girlfriend, Kate (Deutch), Vincent, who hasn’t been living at the farm since their mother passed a few years back, decides to stay and help JC start up an auto-shop business. When Roxxy eventually shows up to take him up on his offer, things start to take on a whole new meaning. After setting herself up in a trailer home just outside the farm, she also gets a part-time job bartending at Kate’s bar and she and Vincent soon begin to grow close. However, things begin to fall apart when Kate’s ex-boyfriend starts stirring trouble with JC and Roxxy’s past, which she thought she left behind, soon comes calling.
Underwhelming and underdeveloped, everything about what should have made this story dark and edgy – the material is all there is no doubt about that – falls disappointingly flat instead. Apart from being unable to decide on what kind of story it wants to tell, the writing is also particularly dull and featureless – see JC’s monologue at the poker table and you’ll get the drift – with the end onscreen result failing to bring any real meaning or depth. Additionally, it doesn’t really help that the titular characters, both fine, solid and dependable actors in their own ways, don’t have an ounce of chemistry between them, making their union unconvincing at best.
It all goes terribly wrong in the story’s third act where the blood and gore are pumped up to the max, with Schultz’ ultra-violent conclusion to things leaving the audiences jarred. And not in a good way.