Review: Vincent N Roxxy (2016)

Vincent N Roxxy (2016)

Directed by: Gary Michael Schultz | 110 minutes | crime, drama, thriller | Actors: Emile Hirsch, Zoë Kravitz, Zoey Deutsch, Emory Cohen, Scott Mescudi, Beau Knapp, Jason Mitchell, Jeff Gum, Kim Collins, Joey Bicicchi, Dominic ‘Taz’ Alexander, Jared Bankens

When the tough / fragile Roxxy (Zoë Kravitz) is beaten up on the street, good-natured Vincent (Emile Hirsch) jumps into the breach for her. It is, as it is called, the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Roxxy tells Vincent that her brother was murdered by a local gangster boss and that she is the next target. Vincent then offers her a hiding place on his farm. Not that the countryside is quieter than the city. Vincent lives in redneck country, where people drink moonshine, smoke meth and fight each other out of boredom. Vincent also lives with his brother JC (Emory Cohen), an incorrigible freeloader.

Everything seems to be going in the right direction with the arrival of Roxxy. Roxxy and Vincent develop a passionate relationship and Vincent and JC start a car workshop that is actually running smoothly. Then the inevitable happens. The gangster boss manages to track down Roxxy and demands a bag with money back that Roxxy says he knows nothing about. Of course ‘Suga’ doesn’t believe that. The violence erupts; a rock in a pond with devastating ripples.

‘Vincent N Roxxy’ starts as a film about two people who grow together in difficult circumstances. The events are predictable, but entertaining enough to hold the attention and Kravitz and Hirsch click. Cohen also convinces with his bumpkin accent. So far, so average. Then something strange happens. You discover that you have completely misjudged the characters. Vincent in particular becomes a lot more interesting. And there are more and more sharp edges to the story, which works towards a daring, gruesome denouement.

In the American press, ‘Vincent N Roxxy’ was compared to Winding Refn’s revenge thriller ‘Drive’. In terms of tone, structure and gory, there is something to be said for that, although ‘Drive’ is significantly smarter and made with more finesse. Let’s just say that in the countryside more is chopped with the blunt axe. Still, ‘Vincent N Roxxy’ isn’t just brutal. The film shows how a couple is destroyed by choices they made before they really knew each other. And that’s moving, because Vincent and Roxxy are cute together.

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