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Written by Billy Bungeroth, Jayson Brooks, Ben Taylor and Kevin Marks
Performed by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
Published by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Bloodshot Records See more »
Vincent N Roxxy is a crime thriller from writer-director Gary Shultz and stars Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz in the titular roles with the supporting cast made up of Emory Cohen and (briefly) Kid Cudi. The story sounds a helluva lot better on paper than how Shultz constructs it. Instead of grasping on to the story and themes at hand such as toxic masculinity or uncontrollable rage, Shultz gives a bare bones effort with a script that it is so poorly written, it felt like a first draft.
First off, the film is 106 minutes and feels a half hour too long. The beginning starts strong and bombastic, introducing our titular characters through a car accident in very pulpy fashion. Then the film tries its hand at being a film grounded in realism for the remainder and it fails just as bombastically as it starts. Hirsch plays his role so much like Gosling from Drive that it is hard not to assume Shultz had the film on repeat during the writing process. Vincent is a cold man prone to violent outbursts much like Gosling's character in that film. It worked for Drive, it fails miserably here. Zoe Kravitz is slowly becoming one good actress and for every step forward there is bound to be a step back somewhere and that is where this film comes in. Her performance is lucid and barely there, so much so that you wonder if she was just doing this for a paycheck. No matter how often we can fault the actors, the real culprit here is Gary Shultz.
The screenplay is so under-cooked that it really makes me wonder if this was a first draft and, if so, why the hell was it allowed to be shot? It is an answer I doubt we'll ever know so we can only assume. The script works against itself at every moment it gets. First we're with Vincent and Roxxy as they talk about sticking together despite not knowing one another and then Vincent (who is supposed to be street smart) tells this woman, who was just accosted by some pretty angry gangsters about money she owes, where he is heading and living. It all felt so ridiculous and ill plotted that I almost gave up after seeing that scene come in so early in the film with barely any character development. Furthermore, Shultz then takes Vincent on his own for awhile. He gives him a couple subplots that go nowhere and then sets him up for the finale to finish the main story that was left abandoned after the first 10 minutes. All in all, it's horribly plotted and the ending is one of the worst in recent memory. I'm all for some dark endings but ones that have points and this one didn't. Honestly, this is an ending that is violent for the sake of being violent and is a half- assed attempt at being edgy and dark. It all translates the same: it is rather banal.
Overall, Vincent N Roxxy is one of poorest written films I've seen in recent memory. With Refn's Drive serving as a painfully obvious homage to the film, it is hard to take any of it seriously especially when none of the actors seem like they are into it in the first place. While I do credit Shultz for sticking to his guns, he really should have looked into a rewrite or two before settling on this very murky and muddled vision of something that could have been great.
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