The Battle begins on February 26, 2013
On the surface the latest film by Austin Chick looks like some sort of I Spit on Your Grave meets Thelma and Louise. The film opens with Lu, we know right from the start there is something wrong with her, she has a police man handcuffed and blindfolded on a bed and uses his own gun against him. From there, we meet Shae, as the film opens she comes across as wholesome yet naÃ¯ve, she has been dating a much older married man for a while and she has feelings for him, well the man decides to tell Shae that him and his wife are going to give it another try and dumps her. This really crushes her world, so she goes to work at the bar, and just has a breakdown and as fate would have it, her coworker Lu gives her attention and tries to cheer her up, so she invites Shae out for a drink after work. Well, that drink turns out to them two being hit on in a club and going back to one of the guyâ€™s place. Well, Shae is not feeling well and decides to go home and the guy that hit on her all night decides to make sure she gets home alright. Well, once there he read more into the date then she did, and not getting the memo that no means no, he rapes Shae. When Shae tries to seek out justice, it seems that no one wants to help her, so now her and Lu are out to right the wrongs that have been committed to Shae.
To describe this film in a nutshell, I would say this is a very intense and bloody coming of age story. While I know people will look at the advertising and think it is your typical story of women seeking revenge on men, this film is a little more deeper than that. The first half hour of the film really builds up the next hour very well. You get to feel sympathy for Shae and what happens to her, but you also wonder what motivates Lu to be the person she is. Lu seems to find a way to get men to pay attention to her, and then she kills them almost like a black widow spider, well one with a gun. When Lu introduces Shae to this world, you are not really sure why Shae is a part in this, and by the third act the film changes gears and goes from revenge to almost a Single White Female vibe with the two ladies. I thought the character of Shae while you can sympathize with her, Danielle Panabaker just struggles with the part, and at times she is not convincing or believable and just comes across as trying too hard. Now, that being said Nicole LaLiberte who really was great on Dexter playing cracked out Arlene who witnessed Hannah kill in this film she is the star, she makes sure you are paying attention, she demands it. There is no way; this woman will not be huge eventually. Trust me, this film she gives everyone a lot to talk about, from shooting a cop with a gun inside his own ass to some of the ways she comes onto men, and also a scene that is guaranteed to make everyone notice her, if those were not enough. The men in the film are wonderfully portrayed to be scum bags, from drunken single men who think rape is acceptable to married men who seem to play innocent and try to gets their claws into anything that pays attention to them. The men in this film are the scum of the earth and put in a very bad light. That being said, Shae and Lu are no angels, it seems like Shae is falling in love within seconds with one character after another and Lu I mean puts her intentions right in guys faces.
This film no mistake about it is a violent and bloody film, but it is also a woman self-discovery story, and how women feel that the world treats them and views them. This film has so many messages from how police do not look at a woman reporting rape to be serious to the point if rape is justified in a rapists eyes, is revenge on him just as justified in the victims eyes? This film had flaws, from the pacing of the film, to the main character of Shae, and maybe some of the long drawn out dialogue scenes between the two girls, but this film packed quite the punch and at the end of the year may get a few critics attention in their top ten lists. I would have liked to see it more violent and bloody, but this film for what it was, is well worth the rental. Just for the sword scene alone, both of them.
8 out of 10