Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★

Admittedly torn on this: a killer premise, fairly airtight script, slick design and solid lead performances (Mulligan and Burnham are terrific together) almost delivers the American answer to LADY VENGEANCE for the #metoo era. However, I wish this were way meaner, as it always seems to tiptoe right up to the line of concocting something confrontational and ugly, only to have its main avenger back away at the last minute every time she could possibly cross over into becoming someone who isn’t quite as saintly as the movie clearly wants to make her (Fennell lays the martyrdom imagery on THICK from the prologue forward). I dunno, maybe this is a “me problem”, but I kept thinking about how Ferrara put Zoe Lund in a nun’s outfit during her ultimate strobe-lit descent into pistol packing madness, and how this doesn’t quite have the gall to question when a righteous crusade transforms into something just as destructive as the villains who inspired such a call to action. Still, the intent is admirable and the end product engrossing enough while never quite getting over its own sense of “elevated exploitation movie”.