X: Night of Vengeance Movie Review
Holly (Bianca) is a jaded high-class Sydney hooker who's ready to retire to her dream life in Paris. But she has one more three-some to do and, when a friend lets her down, she finds a young girl on the street to take her place. But 17-year-old Shay (Mangan-Lawrence) has only started streetwalking tonight, and when their trick turns into a murder scene, they end up on the run from a vicious thug (Phillips) and a corrupt cop (Docker), with only a nice-guy cabbie (Farren) to turn to for help.
The film oozes low-rent style, as director Hewitt shoots the grubby Kings Cross streets with glossy washes of colour and a vivid sense of both camaraderie and menace. Strangely, the sex scenes are the least interesting elements of the film. But when things start getting scary, we feel the tension even if there's not enough detail in the characters for us to really care about them. This world is so squalid that the few signs of decency almost catch us off guard.
Bianca and Mangan-Lawrence look great on-screen and are believable in fairly implausible roles. Over the course of this long, nasty night, Holly and Shay find it much more difficult than they expected to get out of or into the business, respectively. These are tough women, but in the film they're little more than symbols of degradation. And aside from the taxi driver (get it?), men are all scum.
As a result, the film's cautionary tone feels more than a little corny.
Especially with a few wildly gratuitous sequences featuring full-on nudity (to throw us off the scent, the first naked person on screen is a man). And as the story progresses, and a briefcase of loot makes its appearance, we wonder if the script won't undermine its own moralising by making vice pay. Because they certainly seem to feel that these women deserve anything they can get.