THIS high-concept satirical comedy positions itself as one to remember with some of the most brutal “everyday” fight sequences you’re likely to stumble across in a long time, unusually pitting two women against one another in enraged, recurring, all-or-nothing combat.
Veronica (Sandra Oh) is the wife of a rich husband who enjoys a lavish lifestyle throwing parties. Ashley (Anne Heche) is a struggling artist supporting her dream by catering those kinds of upmarket parties.
The two are old college friends, each equally surprised to run into one another. They get to arguing over their various memories, regrets and insecurities and before long a brutal fight ensues that changes both their lives forever.
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From there it becomes a game of revenge and the plot constantly contrives to get the two of them face to face once more. You really have to surrender yourself to that contrivance if you’re going to enjoy what is a well-made and unique, if undoubtedly one-note, film.
But however single-minded it may be, there’s something morbidly fascinating about watching two people repeatedly beat the crap out of each other for a whole movie. The violence is almost absurdist in just how visceral it is, grabbing you by the throat … then punching you, ripping your hair out and throwing you down the stairs. It demands you pay attention to it.
It aims for societal and politically satirical targets as much as the women aim for each other’s faces, from America’s obsession with wealth to its role in war in the Middle East. This aspect never feels as sharp or engaging as it needs to be, however, working better as a backdrop to the central, ongoing titular fight than when it comes into full view.
Nevertheless Oh and Heche are nothing short of captivating throughout what is a blackly comedic, ferociously violent film that really goes for the jugular.