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Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures

Fitting mainly into the gangster noir genre laced with dark comedy is Beautiful Creatures whose title may fit the impugned women who fight back against thuggish virility, but as a slick caper it doesn't respect an audience that doesn't like to be patronized and has trouble empathizing with the leads, Rachel Weisz (The Mummy Returns) and an Englishwoman Susan Lynch (Waking Ned Devine).

This off-kilter tale which could be considered a gender reversal Pulp Fiction and Snatch with the relationships and premise constituting a trans-Atlantic postmodern homage to Thelma and Louise and more recently, Bound.  But the few who've seen the film's trailer will be misled into thinking that this could be an intelligent, ironic look into empowerment with chicness.

From watching Beautiful Creatures, director Bill Eagles probably isn't trying to ape Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie purposely, but he is too intent on violence to temper his obtuse manner which inadvertently diminishes his protagonists.  And with Simon Donald's unrefined script, even women will wish that John Travolta or Brad Pitt would replace as many of the actors as possible.

It's not that Weisz and Lynch are losing their acting chops, but their roles don't let them rise above awkward speech patterns or inane actions.  To their determent, they don't favor much better that the ruthless, awful men that surround them.

Beautiful Creatures follows the Thelma and Louise outline, yet with more twists that inject humor into many crazy situations.

Lynch's Belfast Dorothy and Weisz's loppy, bleach blond Petula become a quirky duo one night in Glasgow after Dorothy leaves an abusive, drug dealer.  Running into another lover's quarrel, the feral, embittered woman is called a bitch by Petula's sadistic boyfriend, Brian (Tom Mannion) and Dorothy does her Louise thing by bashing his head with an iron pipe.  Here it begins to become clear that Beautiful Creatures is starting to see the world in a dimmer light as it unwinds like Bound on heroin, a substance of pleasure for Tony.

If you enjoyed Weisz in The Mummy Returns with her intensity and attention to devotion and athleticism, there's no comedy or visual panache to help her from being dumbed down.  Lynch does her utmost to be a valiant victim while being submerged by Eagles' stylishly absurd approach.  You can't deny that Beautiful Creatures tries to be adroitly off-center but as culpability is overdone by many gratuitous, uneven scenes.  A woman's touch may have been needed to make this brutally imbalanced comedy bound with a firmer grasp of how beauty can be more than skin deep.

Beautiful Creatures

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