Review: ‘The Girl From the Naked Eye’ more than a noir wannabe
Early on, it’s tempting to dismiss the noir pastiche “The Girl From the Naked Eye” as a warmed-over pulp wannabe, what with the overwrought camera work and clichéd dialogue. But in its moments of sometimes comically violent antagonism, the movie shows some flashes of genre pizazz.
Writer-director David Ren’s tale of rainslicked streets, hookers and gangsters begins with a fatally shot young call girl Sandy (Samantha Streets) in the arms of steely-eyed bruiser Jake (Jason Yee, who co-wrote and produced), who’d been assigned to protect her.
Like all noir anti-heroes before him, Jake is committed to avenging her murder even if it means putting himself at odds with plenty of bad men. The fight scenes — choreographed by Ron Yuan (who also plays a club owner) and filmed so one can appreciate the athleticism at hand — are generally fun, and a long-take hallway melee between a tireless Yee and assorted goons is so blatantly reminiscent of “Oldboy” as to be nearly charming in its copycat virtuosity.
In the end, “Naked Eye” has enough amusingly kinetic B-grade mayhem to make one wish that more effort had gone into jazzing up the tired story around it.
“The Girl From the Naked Eye.” MPAA rating: R for violence, sexual content and pervasive language. Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes. At AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, Monterey Park.
The complete guide to home viewing
Get Screen Gab for weekly recommendations, analysis, interviews and irreverent discussion of the TV and streaming movies everyone’s talking about.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.