Final Girl wants to do something a bit different with a well worn formula. The all action kick-ass hero is becoming familiar due to the likes of the very successful Kick-Ass films and the not so popular (but still a decent watch in a trashy sort of way) Colombiana. Even recently, the film Barely Lethal covered a bit of the same ground with a fighter being trained from youth.
On some sort of government initiative, William (Wes Bentley) is tasked with seeking out and training a girl to be an assassin type. He chooses Veronica (Abigail Breslin) and begins her training. After twelve years under instruction, she is ready to take on her first solo mission. A group of boys have got into the habit of singling out a blonde haired girl and basically hunting her in the woods. Veronica is sent out to get some information and then take the gang in hand.
The film has a reasonable premise and the initial story elements are introduced quite nicely. The film has a period look and is beautifully shot and lit. It has a timeless feel to it as there is no reference point for the audience. Male actors all wear suits, sometimes dinner suits and bow ties. The ladies wear dresses as if it’s the fifties. There are no musical references which can guide you and the cars are all nondescript.
Unfortunately that’s where the enjoyment stops. The film is all over the place in terms of story development and acting. If you think on it, even for a momen,t the way the story unfolds makes little sense. There are so many points that raise questions as to the choices of the characters. These are never resolved. The motivations of William are never developed after he reveals at the start that he is doing this after his wife is murdered. Similarly the background of Veronica is ignored. Then there is the organization behind the program to train the girls. Who are they and why do they feel the need to send a single girl into action against four men?
Owing to the lack of cohesion the actors are really left with little to work with. The leads are seen to be almost caricatures especially in the obligatory training montage. The antagonists are given even less to work with. It’s as if they were told to take one trait and run with it. So we have an OTT psycho, a guy with a serious mommy fixation, a quiet one with a normal girlfriend and the arrogant alpha male.
Given that the film is only eighty four minutes long it is strange that it takes nearly an hour to arrive at the action scene. Setting in the forest at night probably seemed like a good idea until it was noted that lighting would be an issue. So the solution was to make the scenes look like an episode of the X files. All mist and bright white lights. Sorry, it did nothing for the atmosphere.
Overall, a film that falls well short of a reasonable initial premise.