Burn It All

Slowly yet surely women are being represented in action films. Films like Salt, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and Atomic Blonde have solidified women in the genre and are making money for the studios. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are all of that calibre, though. Action is a very uneven film genre when it comes to quality. Just because you throw some fights and guns into a film doesn’t make it good. You still need at least some of the other elements – cinematography, story, character development, etc. – to carry their weight.

A young woman’s suicide attempt is interrupted by her telephone ringing. Alex (Elizabeth Cotter – first feature film) answers to find out that her mother has died and she is her emergency contact. After returning to her hometown, a place she left never looking back, she stumbles onto the fact that within the town there is a criminal underworld involved in the dastardly operation of organ harvesting.

Being a woman at the end of her rope, Alex is totally the wrong woman to find this out. She is not going to just walk away as any sane person would. Generally pissed off, Alex is going to do whatever it takes to retake possession of her mother’s body and stop this from happening to anyone else.

The premise of the film is making a female driven revenge action flick which talks to all the ways that men assault the minds and bodies of women. Alex is set up to represent all women who refuse to be crushed by patriarchy. Lofty goals which are never really achieved.

Lead actress Cotter does her best. Her best to get beyond the bad hand she has been dealt. A hand comprised of poor directorial choices, at times terrible lighting, a muddled story, and next to no character development or depth. Is it me or did you ever figure out what was motivating everything Alex was doing? Loads of moments in which you will either be shaking your head or scratching it.

Throughout the film you will hear the main character Alex being asked “Why are you so angry?” and my answer is maybe because she had to watch this film.

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