Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★½

The hype and chatter on LB got me so excited I avoided the trailer or reading anything in depth so I could go in completely cold. The good news is this wasn't as brutal and painful a watch as the film I'd imagined in my head. The bad news is this wasn't as good, smart or provocative as my imaginary film. I think the term "on the nose" sums it up. This is filled with one dimensional stereotypes and tropes, even if our anti-hero is cool and different than what we're used to seeing in the rape-revenge genre. Despite the film's shallowness, Carey does deliver a compelling performance when she's in "predator" mode. I was rooting for her. And without spoilers, I appreciate the filmmaker going against expectations. But it's hard to take this film seriously when everything is made of cardboard. Setting aside the fact that she's completely driven by revenge except instead of going after the perpetrators she strikes random victims - why? - we're asked to believe she's going to abandon her entire m.o. (again, without ever going after the perpetrators) for this one guy who didn't seem worth one minute of her time. It felt like maybe it was supposed to be a joke how easily she falls for this schmuck but I think it was meant to be sincere? Of course we find out the narrative reasons for this turn eventually. I liked the promise (sorry) at the start and I did like the ending, but the middle lost me.

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