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With Jim Sabatini

Never Going Back

Never Going Back
Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone

Rated: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and brief nudity - all involving teens.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 3, 2018 Released by: A24 Films

Two broke confidantes have irrepressible appeal in a stoner, freewheeling escapade lowbrow enough to feature the distaff set in a sweltering Texas setting.

Augustine Frizzell's Never Goin' Back has inane mirth in the gender reversal, but has more of a hackneyed, if perverted rakishness to it (considering its narrative assemblage). The post-pubescent leads, Angela and Jessie, embrace the director's scummy naturalism and delirium, perhaps cousins to characters in Spring Breakers or even American Honey. Not to mention the more mainstream Harold and Kumar.

Maia Mitchell (Australian model and actress) and Camila Morrone (Argentina bred and now connected with Leonardo DiCaprio after appearing in the updated Death Wish) are the closed-knit Angela and Jessie who have to navigate through tough luck and poor choices as high-school dropouts toiling at a Fort Worth pancake eatery.

Dwelling in a seedy place with Angela's aspiring, naïve drug-dealing brother (Joel Allen) and his oblivious, lecherous chum (Kyle Mooney) isn't really their cup of tea or affording the rent as a Galveston birthday getaway is their goal (as a comment about a screensaver represents the dazed-and-confused cynicism on view).

Shameful embarrassment is what these girls-gone-wild must endure from supermarket shaming, being faultily incarcerated, having to burglarize a sandwich emporium, to uncontrollable issues without proper absorbency (if you get the drift).  Mitchell and Morrone have that noticeable on-screen affinity to engage the feckless, troublesome, asinine antics like their arrested development male counterparts have in many a film.

Essentially, Frizzell's inordinate way with the gags just doesn't commiserate with much esprit for Angela and Jessie as Never Goin' Back finally revels in its go-to egregious giddiness flushing away an empowering opportunity

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Never Going Back        C                        C 

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