High School guardian and loner Hank (Dylan McDermott) is picked on by the kids he guards. That is until new student Josie (Sophie Turner) appears. She is half sexy Lolita and half conciliator. Though her influence is positive to start with, slowly things begin to change and men start to act. Hank is talked about having inappropriate feelings for her. She is seen as encouraging this but Hank might be overstepping the line. Her new boyfriend (Jack Kilmer), one of the bullies, is also worried and sees Hank as a problem he has to fix.
Josie sets its stall out early on. Its a Neo Noir, set in the desert with a whiff of sweat and a dose of sex. Hmm…riffing off of Noir motifs is not a bad thing. Conventions are there to be used and abused. However the problem is that the bare bones of the script in such a case, is then complemented by great mise en scene, acting or style. Little of this is present here. Visually the film is empty. Framing is bored, shots are diffused with too much light and the interiors are devoid of any craft of any kind. The performances range from brilliant to laboured. Dylan McDermott is superb and simmers slowly on screen. If you want to know the best thing in the film, well look here. Jack Kilmer as well stands out for a raged filled, hormonal teen. He also simmers onscreen. He is also able to infuse cocky teen with menace as well. Sadly Sophie Turner is the weak link. She seems less impressive and almost sleep walks through the film. Her performance is laboured to the point of slumber and I felt hard pressed to engage with her. This is the sad thing. I suspect under better direction and female lead, this would have revived McDermott’s career and established Kilmer as an actor of the future.