Pixie is her name and the problem is her game. “She’s not just going to break you, she’ll take a Kalashnikov into your heart,” is the warning at the start of this eventful gangster comedy from St Trinian director Barnaby Thompson. It features a solid performance of Olivia Cooke as Pixie, the stepdaughter of a little gangster in the West of Ireland. She is written as a 21st century femme fatale, a woman who uses her brain, her beauty and her cunning to suck off a succession of awkward men in order to help her steal from MDMA drug dealers with a market value of 1 million euros. His big plan is to run away to the art school in San Francisco.
The tone of the film is Father Ted-meets-Tarantino, with a handful of Ferris Bueller and In Bruges. There’s a legion of influences here, and what’s on screen may never be quite its own thing. But still, there are some really funny moments: The joke behind all of this is that the gangster priests control drugs in the area and are led by Father Hector (Alec Baldwin, who unfortunately doesn’t bring much- thing beyond a splash of Hollywood glare). ). Pixie’s heist involves robbing Father Hector, and when it goes wrong, she hits the road with an MDMA tote, a body in the trunk of the car, and two glasses-less guys from the local pub.
Cooke is truly formidable, easily transporting the film with his onscreen presence of a swallowed bulb. I was wondering if naming her character Pixie was a bit of a cliché of Hollywood Manic Pixie Girl – the female characters who only exist to help men change and grow. Pixie, on the other hand, is his own wife, looking for what she can get: an amoral and selfish free spirit. And yet, is she still a male fantasy? The screenplay, written by director’s son Preston Thompson, does little to loosen the layers of seduction to find the real woman. But it might not be that kind of movie.