X (2011)

X (2011) movie poster

director Jon Hewitt
viewed: 05/01/2013

I can’t recall exactly where I read about X or what I read about it, but I think it got me at “the seedy side of Sydney” and the King’s Cross area.  On my trip to Sydney a few years ago, that was the general neck of the woods that I stayed in, and so the idea of seeing a thriller set in recognizable locales piqued my curiosity.

X is a mixture of good and bad.  Some of its dramatic components, the story of the girl from up north and the would-be magician taxi driver, or the high class hooker who wants to get out of the business and go to Paris where her mother took her once, this is the stuff of bad television, hokey writing with characters whose whole description has been cribbed from ancient cliches.

But oddly enough, the actors are kind of good.  I think.  Because something is a bit more compelling here.  It’s not successfully gritty or realistic, though it tries to slum it good.  Viva Bianca is good as the world-weary hooker trying to get out.  Hanna Mangan Lawrence is not bad as the young naif fresh to the Sydney’s seamy side.  And the psycho killer cop guy, he’s good too.  And the young girl who befriends the newbie, telling her what a great friend she is for loaning her a dollar.  She was good too.

It sways back and forth into Pulp Fiction (1994)-like surprises and violence and more brain-dead character development.  So in the end, it’s far from a fully satisfying thing.  But it’s not without its points of interest.

As for the sleazy side of Sydney, King’s Cross in particular,… it’s kind of intriguing, a tad resonant for me.  Vague.

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