‘Sweet Girl’ follows Ray Cooper (Jason Momoa), a father overwhelmed with heartache and grief, as he sets about taking revenge on those responsible for his wife’s death, while doing all he can to protect his daughter and life raft, Rachel (Isabela Merced).
Sirens blare and FBI agents running onto the scene as Ray reflects that “it wasn’t supposed to be like this” and jumps into the water below. What follows is a cheesy flashback of a family hiking trip, with overloaded voiceover dialogue that includes such lines as “As the years passed, we realised we were nothing more than the experiences that made us.” At this point, one is already overwhelmed by the lameness. Then you’ve got the wife getting cancer and dying – it’s the movie stuff you’ve seen hundreds of time before.
‘Sweet Girl’ is cinched with so many clichés, but never to the point of being comical. It is simply dull. It’s so lifeless, in fact, that the viewer finds they’re forgetting what’s happening in the movie as they’re watching it. Sometimes with these kind of movies some great action set pieces can fill the void, but this film doesn’t even have that. It’s essentially an unnecessarily convoluted version of ‘Taken’, again, which we’ve had so many iterations of over the thirteen-year period since its release. None of them have proven particularly interesting or successful, so why not find a new formula?
Couple all this with the fact that even though Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced (who audiences previously saw in the likes of ‘Instant Family’ and ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’) are generally likable actors, they are playing charmless characters. Ray is overly aggressive while Rachel is just bratty and constantly throwing tantrums. Everything feels forced in their relationship, with some sweeping music standing in for genuine emotional connection and on screen chemistry.
Even the title of the movie feels try hard as Ray calls Rachel his “sweet girl” every so often, as he alternated between yelling at his daughter and telling her how much he adores her. To make matters worse still, you’ve got the most preposterous movie twist ever just before the film’s final act. It truly is woeful and may be one of Netflix’s worst action movies (which the streaming service has already set the bar high for…).