Beautiful Creatures

"Weak"

Beautiful Creatures Review


While leaving town to get away from her abusive boyfriend, Dorothy (Susan Lynch) comes upon a scene that's all-too-familiar to her: another young woman getting smacked around in the middle of the street.

High on courage and indignation -- at least for the moment -- Dorothy picks up a pipe and bashes the guy's head in, saving platinum blonde trophy squeeze Petula (Rachel Wiesz). But now these newly-bonded sisters have a dead body on their hands.

Such is the set-up for "Beautiful Creatures," an energetic and sometimes clever, dark comedy crime thriller from Scotland that's full of sharp ideas but undermined by blunt-headed characters and logistical loopholes.

Not versed in the fine art of corpse dumping, the women take the stiff back to Dorothy's apartment and decide to fake a kidnapping. Not versed in kidnapping, it isn't long before they've aroused the suspicions of three dangerous and highly dubious men -- Dorothy's boyfriend (Iain Glenn), the dead man's career criminal brother (Maurice Roeves), and a quite crooked detective (Alex Norton).

Noir-ish scheming and double-crosses follow as these two women get in way over their heads. But the movie is saddled with a frustrating pattern of inventiveness and ignorance that seems to indicate writer Simon Donald and director Bill Eagles kept painting themselves into corners and continually had to chuck common sense to get back out again.

Because Petula's bombshell looks mask a nervous naivete that makes her a bad liar when it comes to spinning yarns about her missing beau, Dorothy devises a way to trick her into genuine fear and agitation when the inspector comes to question her. Dorothy mails a severed finger to Petula without telling her about it in advance.

It works for Petula. She screams and goes into a tizzy when she opens the package right in front of the cop. But it doesn't work for the audience because we're expected to buy into the ridiculously far-fetched notions that 1) the finger would arrive in the mail the same day the detective comes to question Petula, 2) the mail would arrive while he's there, and 3) Petula would then casually open said mail while being bombarded with questions about her missing boyfriend.

The movie is littered with these kinds of problems. It apparently takes place in a world without modern forensics, cell phone records (the girls coordinate using the dead man's phone) or neighbors who call the cops when guns go off in their apartment building. And the only way several plot developments can come to fruition is if Dorothy and Petula frequently swing back and forth between fairly intelligent and unrealistically ignorant.

In one scene, Dorothy finds drugs and a big knife in a pocket of her boyfriend's golf bag -- then doesn't bother searching the rest of the bag. Later her boyfriend returns and holds her at gunpoint with a big, silver automatic she would have found in there if she wasn't such an idiot. After getting out of that one, Dorothy and Petula leave the boyfriend alone in the apartment with only his hands tied. Gee, think he'll escape?

It's really a shame this kind of preposterousness torpedoes "Beautiful Creatures" because somewhere inside this sinking vessel is a pretty canny caper that deserves better. The writer and director clearly know where they want to go, and they've packed well for the trip -- the gritty, underexposed colors gives the movie a distinctive visual signature, the glib dialogue gives the characters appealing dimension. But they keep taking wrong turns along the way until they're so lost they can't even tell what to play funny and what play tense.

By the end, Lynch and Weisz are the picture's only saving graces. They flesh out these women in splendid performances that show their vulnerabilities and their emotional baggage ("No more dealers, junkies or criminals!" plain and put-upon Dorothy declares as she builds up the courage to leave in the first reel) without turning them into melodramatic martyrs, like some Thema and Louise for the "Trainspotting" set.



Beautiful Creatures

Facts and Figures

Run time: 124 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 14th February 2013

Box Office USA: $19.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $60.1M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Alcon Entertainment, Belle Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 78 Rotten: 92

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bill Eagles

Starring: as Ridley Duchaness, as Macon Ravenwood, as Mrs. Lincoln, as Amma, as Larkin Ravenwood, as Lena Duchannes, as Link, as Ethan Wate, as Aunt Del, as Emily Asher, Rachel Brosnahan as Genevieve Duchannes

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.