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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hick

HICK

** SPOILERS **

As a foul-mouthed, homicidal eleven year old superhero in Kick-Ass and a manipulative, homicidal vampire in Let Me In, young Chloe Grace Moretz has plenty creeped out audiences in her career already. In the borderline intolerable Hick, it's her turn to be creeped out, along with the audience. Vaguely set in the early 80s, Moretz, a newly minted teenager, decides to run away from her alcoholic father (Anson Mount) before she turns into a carbon copy of her desperate, whoring mother (Juilette Lewis). Effervescently blonde and all long, gangly limbs, Moretz is bright, well-versed in movie dialogue, and seems to understand her sudden impulse to go Las Vegas could have dire consequences. (She writes down a Pros and Cons list before departing and the sole Con is appropriately "Might Die".) She heads off into the backwoods of Nebraska and wouldn't you know it, the first pick up truck she hitchhikes into launches her into the messed-up, interconnected lives of Eddie Redmayne, a psycho cowpoke with a gimp, and Blake Lively, a coke-snorting grifter. Moretz basically meets three people and they all know each other, with predictable sad sack back stories. Riding shotgun along with Redmayne or Lively, Moretz gets all manner of redneck stereotype coming of age life experiences like robbing a convenience store, getting sold as payment in a pool hustlin' scheme gone awry, nearly getting raped in a ladies' room, and getting tied up and held prisoner in a motel cabin. Hick repeatedly asks Moretz to quote dialogue from movies like Sunset Boulevard, Star Wars, Deliverance, and Taxi Driver to deleterious effect, not knowing well enough to veer away from directly invoking superior movies. At her birthday party, Moretz receives a Smith and Wesson Colt .45 as a present. Screenwriting 101 dictates if you show a gun in the first act, it has to go off in the third. No points for guessing who gets shot and when. That's another thing about Hick - everywhere Moretz went, dead bodies popped up. She's linked to, an accomplice in, or the direct cause of four deaths - three of which are murders - in Hick, none of which are dealt with any consequence. The sole bright spots of Hick are Moretz herself, who emerges from this countrified boondoggle relatively unscathed, and Alec Baldwin, as the sole kindly adult in the movie, and a reminder that we can see him and Moretz occasionally clash wits in much more entertaining style in 30 Rock.

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