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Review: X (2011)

Director: Jon Hewitt | 86 minutes | drama, thriller, crime | Actors: Viva Bianca, Hanna Mangan Lawrence, Docker, Stephen Phillips, Eamon Farren, Belinda McClory, Darren Moss, Freya Tingley, Anthony Phelan, Hazem Shammas, Wayne Blair, Billie Rose Pritchard, Rowan Witt, Rebecca Irwin, Jordan Fielding, Joshua Payne, Natasha Herbert, Toby Zoates, Burnetta Hampson, David Peacock

The chic call girl Holly is fed up. From the age of fifteen she has been in “life”. Now, on her thirtieth birthday, she wants to build a new life. Paris is her next destination. But first the last job. During a night with a full moon, a night where anything can happen. For her latest trick, a threesome with a regular client, she persuades 17-year-old runaway “new girl in town” Shay to join. After the physical duties things go very wrong. The girls witness a drug deal with a bad ending and have to run for their lives. Bad luck, in the wrong room at the wrong time. Can the pair save their lives?

“X” (also known as “X: Night of Vengeance”), an Australian production, is not overflowing with originality. The plot is more or less predictable, with of course the little “twist” at the end. Still, it is not an unpleasant, except for some very violent scenes, to watch. The protagonists, Viva Bianca (known from the “Spartacus” series) and youth Hanna Mangan Lawrence, play their roles credibly. Add to that a creepy killer (a convincing Stephen Phillips), a slick editing and a suitable soundtrack and the result is sufficient. Let’s say a 6.5. But still, better than expected.

These kinds of movies are released by the dozen and not all of them know how to hit the right note. The alliance between the two protagonists means that “X” is reasonably digestible for both men (the amount of free nakedness as well as the scenes) and women. Okay, “X” is not a movie that will make history, the script is too weak for that. Still, director manages to keep the attention. Thanks to the decor, Sydney’s red light district with its criminals, hookers, strip clubs and seedy bars. Then we take the supporting role of taxi driver / magician Harry (Eamon Farren) for granted. Because don’t we all want something soft to cuddle in the end?

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