“A star is born? Well, at least a potential one.”
After making an undeniable impact strapped to a car bonnet in the second-half of Grindhouse, Zo…Hang on, let me find the right key on the keyboard… Ah, there we are… Zoë gets to do some actual ‘acting’, rather than playing a stuntwoman called Zoë Bell [Way to go, Tarantino!] Thios started as a web-based series of ten episodes, but is now available on DVD, which is how we watched it. Bell plays Eve, an assassin whose personality radically changes after she is stabbed in the head. She starts to see one of her victims – a young girl – and as a result, decides to go after those who ordered the death. Needless to say, her manager and handler Graham (Poth) is not impressed by this sudden burst of morality, and neither are those who have now become her target, including up-and-coming gangster boss Jake Abel, who sends his minions out to take care of her before she takes care of him.
As an action actress, Bell is unquestionably better at the “action” part than the acting. Not that she sucks at the latter, but one senses she needs more experience with regard to the thespian side of things. This is her first time having to carry a film while playing a character, and thst sometimes is obvious – it’s particularly interesting to contrast Bell and Lucy Lawless, who turns up in a supporting role as Eve’s next-door neighbour. The script also fails to make a convincing case why she makes the switch – maybe it’s the head-injury, but that’s a bit too deus ex machina to work well, and as this barely runs 70 mins, it’s not exactly something they needed to cut out.
Still, this is all redeemed by some excellent action, with Bell (obviously) doing all her own work. She has a short, compact fighting style that looks great on the camera, and there’s a real sense of hardcore energy to it, that makes them fun to watch. Having seen her start off by getting stabbed in the skull, and literally walking away, establishes Eve nicely as an unstoppable force, who can take a licking and keep on ticking. Wisely, Etheredge appreciates that without a stunt-double, there’s no need for quick cutting, and gives the viewer a chance to appreciate her skills. The result is an entertaining B-movie that will hopefully lead to bigger and better things for Bell, who might just become a genuine star down the road.
Dir: Paul Etheredge
Star: Zoë Bell, Brian Poth, Jake Abel, Justin Huen