Violet & Daisy (2011)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/9/13
Cast: Saorise Ronan, Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini, cameo by Danny Trejo

An unfortunate victim of false advertising and another wasted opportunity to deliver an interesting and meaningful girls with guns film. Violet (Alexis Bledel) and Daisy (Saorise Ronan) are teenage assassins whose latest hit will allow them to buy a couple of new dresses from their favorite pop idol's new fashion line. But things don't go as planned, as their mark (James Gandolfini) is a sad and broken man with terminal cancer who is looking for a mercy killing, which leaves the girls morally conflicted. So they sit around and talk, argue, and take out any other assassins and cops that happen to show up. The film ends with the girls going their own separate ways, a little older, sadder, and wiser from the experience.

While the trailer for the film focuses on edgy action and violence, it's a complete lie. There's exactly one set piece in the film that just barely qualifies as action, and it happens in the first five minutes of the film. It's also completely absurd and lacks any sort of logic or emotional impact, which is unfortunate because it's all downhill from there. The film is primarily a character study of two best friends who have a falling out, and the assassin angle is merely a marketing hook to lure people like me into the theater. (and in fact, I was the ONLY person in the theater) More than anything, it reminded me of films like "Killing Time" (1997) and "B. Monkey" (1998) with its tediously drawn out narrative, ineffective sense of humor, and utter pointlessness. On the plus side, Saorise Ronan is magical and totally spellbinding throughout, and James Gandolfini gives a convincing and heartfelt performance. Unfortunately, while Alexis Bledel delivers a strong and respectable performance, she suffers from a horribly unflattering hairdo and looks far too old for the role. (although it's unclear how old she's supposed to be) The film has a few good moments and there is some nice art direction here and there, but overall it's a tiresome disappointment that thinks it's much more quirky and clever than it actually is. Sadly, the best thing about the show was the spectacular Honey Mustard Ruffles ad that played before it, which I suppose in all fairness would be difficult for a great many films to top.