Unrated, 1 hr. 25 min. Directed By: Jon Hewitt. Release Date: Apr 8, 2011. DVD Release Date: Aug 29, 2011.
It was late. I was bored. Those were my excuses when I ran this on Netflix streaming. Frankly, it seems like there have been a stream of hooker movies crossing my path lately, and since I had moderately positive feelings about both Elektra Luxx and Sweet Karma, I decided to give this one a shot.
In some ways, this was what I expected: nudity, sex, violence, and drugs. I was surprised at the gritty feel of Sidney’s streets, and the pervasiveness of the “street trade” that’s portrayed upon them. In a country that has legalized, professionalized prostitution, I had a hard time believing that there were this many women working under the semi-feudal “pimp ‘n ho” system.
Two-thirds of this movie is a chase scene, which can go either way. It was great in Apocalypto, because the chase energy of the chase is… boosted by random events that reinvent that initial rush. X does much of that, with our, um, hooker heroines having repeated run-ins with their pursuer, and learning a few things about other characters in the film as they go along. Are some of these events during the frantic rush through Sidney a bit hard to swallow? Hell, yeah. In fact, it had that same feeling that Adventures in Babysitting had, that feeling that says, they’re in a city of millions and can’t evade their pursuer (and weren’t smart enough to stop their trade for even a few minutes after witnessing a brutal murder).
I will say that I totally loved the Holly character. She’s not the grizzled street pro that you might run in to on Law & Order or some similar crime drama. She’s pretty upscale, has worked her way up the ladder, and has worked hard so that she can quit the life early and retire to someplace she loves. She’s also tough as nails, taking a beating when captured, and giving every cent of it back in the flight from her pursuer. I do loves me some tough ladies, so of course my interest was peaked. The more we learn about Holly, the more I liked.
But Holly wasn’t alone in the characters I found interesting. Her one-time partner, Shay, has this rough life story that’s probably a little stereotypical: her mom dies when Shay’s a teen, leaving her with a stepfather, hints at abuse at the stepfather’s hands. But Shay wasn’t angry or bitter. She managed to walk the line between abject naivety and street-wise, but was tottering on the naïve side. Half of what happens to Shay is because she’s still willing to trust, even after all the crap she’s seen and done.
So, this wasn’t a perfect movie. The story gets shaky at times, but the character development more than makes up for it. If you get bored late one night, and you have access to Netflix streaming, this isn’t a terrible way to perk you up.