Always fight harder

Brian Mendoza’s new movie ”Sweet Girl” is full of shocking surprises


Photo courtesy of Jason Momoa News

Sweet Girl was released on Friday, August 20th on Netflix.

Reece Straley, Staff Reporter

A life was lost all for a profit. The movie Sweet Girl takes place in Pittsburgh, Ray (Jason Momoa) faces tragedy after his wife, Amanda (Adria Arjona), dies from cancer because of a pharmaceutical company’s greed. In the movie, Ray’s wife is struck with cancer, but there is hope that a new drug from Bioprime called Inferma comes out and is very effective at fighting cancer but the company recalls it permanently. 

Ray gives the CEO of Bioprime, Simon Keeley (Justin Bartha) a call and says, “If my wife dies it is your death sentence. I will hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands.” That is exactly what he does. He makes that promise to Keeley and after his wife’s death, Ray and his daughter, Rachel (Isabela Merced), are struck with anger and pain. In this scene, I questioned if Momoa would be good at the emotional aspect of the part and he exceeded my expectations and made the movie feel very personal and sentimental here as if this was the viewers problem too.

They set out to fulfill the grim promise to Keeley and Ray becomes obsessed with making a plan to get revenge for his wife’s death so he plots a plan. Unfortunately, things go south.

A journalist, Martin Bennett (Nelson Franklin) calls Ray and tells him that he has viable information that could send Keeley away for his crimes. He asks Ray to meet with him at the subway. Ray agrees to meet him but Rachel wants to go as well. Rachel follows her dad as Bennett and Ray meet in a subway but hitman Amos Santos (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) has different plans. He kills Bennett and a fight begins between Ray and Santos. Rachel, trying to save her father, jumps on Santos but it’s no good as Ray is stabbed.

Ray is filled with anger and knows who is behind this attack. He returns back to his apartment mad and bloody as Rachel questions what happened. You can see Momoa’s anger through his facial expressions which he executed perfectly.

Ray plots a plan to kill Keeley at an auction he is speaking at and is successful. The FBI arrive at the scene of the murder and set out to find the killer. Witnesses saw Ray’s car fleeing the scene and the FBI got the license plate of Ray’s car, found out it was him and searched his apartment, and found his whole plan. Ray and Rachel flee but the FBI is hot on their tails, and so is Santos. After they are in a safe space, Rachel calls the FBI trying to get clarity on her father because she is worried but it is no good. They find a hotel but two men come after them trying to kill them as Ray plots his next plan to take out Keeley’s business partner Shah (Raza Jefferey) and find out why Bennett was killed, but again Santos has other plans and kills Shah before he could tell Ray why Bennett was killed.

The next scene at the climax happens and completely surprised me with the progression of events. I think that this scene truly makes the movie. I loved it. It made the whole course of events change and made me think more about the movie. Merced did a perfect job at portraying her part, especially at the climax. Every movie does have its flaws and Sweet Girl is no exception. Some scenes in the movie do not match up with the climax of the movie. Other than that, some scenes were just confusing. For example, how did Rachel call the FBI if she was doing other stuff at the same time and how did she go to different places if she was doing things?  

Despite my thoughts on the movie, Mendoza’s new film seems to not be liked by major movie companies. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie an 18% and IMDb gave this movie a 5.5/10. I completely disagree with these statements. Many of the reviews say the plot is all over the place but I think that the chaotic plot made the movie so suspenseful as you wouldn’t know what would happen next. I would rate this movie a 10/10 and give this movie a 95%. This movie truly kept me on the edge of my seat. The movie was constantly full of surprises and full of action. There were constant fight scenes and scenes of the characters that were out for each other meeting. The acting was excellent. Momoa and Merced were both amazing at doing fight scenes. I feel as if each character was perfect for their role. 

Overall this movie was astonishing. There were many great messages like when Rachel asks Ray, “How do you win an unfair fight?”, and he responds with “You always fight harder.” I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves action and heartbreak. As suspenseful and action-packed this movie is, it is also very emotional. I liked this aspect of the movie as it made the movie feel very personal. This is a great start for Mendoza’s debut in filmmaking.