Codename Capricorn: Respectful Reel Review #25 — Scarlett (2020)

MOVIE TITLE:

Scarlett

IMDB YEAR RELEASED:

2020

GENRE:

Secret Agent / Action Thriller

STARRING:

Melanie Stone, Brian Krause, David McConnell, Weixin Le, Pingi Moli, Gabe Casdorph, Demetrius Daniels, Deven Davenport, Scout Smith, Charan Prabhakar, Scarlett Hazen

DIRECTED BY:

John Lyde

SUMMARY:

When a nursing student witnesses the abduction of her spy-father during spring break, she must draw upon the skills that she was unwillingly taught by her dad to defend herself, and free him from the clutches of weapons dealers while also searching for a virus that the villains want to sell to the highest bidder.

PLOT:

The story begins with the infiltration of a heavily protected estate by a man dressed all in black with a flak jacket, a balaclava, and a silenced .45 millimeter gun. There are guards crawling everywhere. The man climbs to a second floor balcony and enters an office where he finds a computer. He attaches some decryption tech to the computer and proceeds to download.

In one of the desk drawers, the man finds a hunting knife which he places in his backpack. As he begins to pack stuff away he hears a commotion in the hallway and hides. Another man, probably the homeowner, is speaking on the phone in Spanish. He leaves the office, but returns to fight with the man in the balaclava. Now the house is alerted and the infiltrator runs, leaving a slew of dead bodies in his wake.

Scarlett (Melanie Stone) is a nursing student. She attends a phlebotomy class, but one of her classmates (supposedly a bestie) is asking her to hang out during spring break. Because she and her friend are whispering while the teacher speaks, the teacher verbally quizzes her, and she is sufficiently knowledgeable that she is able to respond accurately.

Later, when she is in the cafeteria, Scarlett finds that her credit cards are all rejected. Apparently, her father has frozen her credit cards as a way to get her to talk to him. Luckily her friend is there to help her out with cash and as a way to pay her bestie back, she agrees to go out with her that night to hang out at a bar.

Unfortunately, while she is at the bar with her friend, the friend is more interested in scoring than she is in hanging with Scarlett. Seeing that Scarlett is sitting at a table alone, several preppy “boys” approach and seem to take her rejection personally. They appear to believe that because she is seated alone that she somehow wants to interact with all four of them, simultaneously.

They insist on accosting her more aggressively. This is not a good idea, because very quickly she proceeds to kick their asses. Of course, this results in her arrest. What, wait? Yeah, because there are four boys, they claim that there was no incitement on their part. Well, she has to call her Dad to help bail her out.

What follows is this weird dynamic in which Scarlett is resentful because her father taught her to defend herself. Her Dad is proud that she could take on four dudes and be arrested as the aggressor, when everyone even the police know what happened. Dad forces Scarlett to come home for spring break and hands the knife to her as a souvenir from his travels.

Scarlett gets angry at her father complaining about the way she was raised. She is even further annoyed that her father would believe that a knife is an appropriate gift. She then lashes out and says she needs to take a walk. During her walk, Dad calls to tell her that she should go to “Grandma’s house,” immediately because he has seen some rough characters about to infiltrate the house guns blazing. He hangs up.

Of course, she ignores his directive and she enters the house after her father has already been abducted. There are numerous puddles of blood where her Dad has made certain that his abduction has cost the enemy plenty. What follows is an attempt by Scarlett to get her Dad back alive. I leave the plot here, in order to begin my review without spoilers.

REVIEW:

Followers of the blog know that when I call my post a Respectful Reel Review, it means that I liked the movie. The plot is written by Brittany Wiscombe who has numerous writing credits in the realm of romantic comedies and TV series, so this signifies a stretch for her. The writing is adequate, but this type of movie has been done before, Cynthia Rothrock vehicles come to mind.

Melanie Stone is not a bad actress, but she does not always deliver her lines with the conviction one wants to see. She is no Meryl Streep, but she is no Cynthia Rothrock either. Her fighting is not horrible, but is that what she was striving for, to not be godawful? The woman is cute and I hope to see her in more things. I think that with a little more seasoning, she might be really good as an actress AND as an action star.

The cinematography is mostly adequate with the blocking of camera angles generally done well. The lighting leaves a little to be desired. Much of the action takes place in enclosed areas that are poorly lit. The problem with that is there are some really strong kicks that are missed because of the poor lighting. When action is going to be one of your strengths, it should happen in a lit area where the actors get to show off their moves.

Brian Krause is one of the best things about this movie. He is a seasoned actor that can emote well, even when he is trying to be the awkward Dad that does not know quite how to talk with his daughter. There are some flashback sequences that add real pathos to the scenes between he and Scarlett. He is also enough of a he-man that he can play a kick-ass spy.

If it sounds like I did not like this movie, then you got me wrong. I liked this movie, but one of the things I love about this movie is not for what it is, but for what it could have been. I like Melanie Stone and Brian Krause as daughter and father. I like the subtext of trying to balance protecting the world with protecting your daughter and the inverse of father as the big bad secret agent abducted with his daughter having to try to rescue him. She makes mistakes because she’s not perfect, but man does she make mistakes.

This movie is a very good movie that could have been great. I rate it 3 and a half out of 5 Grey Geeks.

This movie is available on Tubi, and Lance the Obscure Movie Guy is the person who suggested this movie on his YouTube channel. Lance the OMG! is what I call him and he decided to piggy back on Codename Capricorn with his Three Things you Should be Watching video on Spy Movies. I love the guy and I decided to check out this suggestion.

He was right about this one, although he was wrong about Thankskilling. Check out Scarlett (2020) and tell me what you think. Thanks for reading my post. See you later. Take it easy and Peace.

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