LONDON: Netflix continues to stuff its movie slate with the biggest stars Hollywood has to offer. Jason Momoa is the latest to get a headlining gig with “Sweet Girl,” an action thriller that sees Momoa’s everyman, Ray Cooper, devastated by the loss of his wife, and galvanized by that loss to hold the head of a greedy pharmaceutical company to account for pulling life-saving drugs off the market.
Painting Ray as an everyman (or, at least, casting Momoa to play him) is the film’s first misstep. Momoa, in everything he does or says — even when he’s doing or saying nothing, is in no way ordinary. You don’t see him on screen and think, “Oh yeah. He’s just like me.”
When Ray and his daughter Rachel (Isabela Merced) wind up on the run from hired mercenaries keen to keep a lid on the Big Pharma story, Ray must use his wits and cunning to stay one step ahead of the trained killers. Trouble is that he’s Jason Momoa. You know? Jason Momoa. Which means that you’d back him in a fight against most people.
To be fair, Momoa manages to make Ray seem about as ordinary as he’s allowed to, and gets the occasional chance to flex his acting muscles instead of his actual ones. He and Merced display nice chemistry during the quieter moments of their flight, but all too soon, it’s back to fighting, and realistically it’s hard to imagine any of the movie’s nameless goons getting the better of the man who played Aquaman and Khal Drogo.
Sadly, even these paltry attempts by director Brian Mendoza to make “Sweet Girl” believable are blown out of the water by a final-act plot twist that probably seemed very clever on paper – but that actually serves only to highlight the attempt to bolster a tenuous idea for a movie with a ‘shocking’ reveal.
Presumably, that twist was supposed to encourage viewers to go back and watch the movie again after the credits roll. They won’t want to. Once is more than enough.