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Review: Larry Clark's 'Marfa Girl 2' suffers from arrested development

Review: Larry Clark's 'Marfa Girl 2' suffers from arrested development
Adam Mediano in the movie "Marfa Girl 2." (Breaking Glass Pictures)

Veteran director Larry Clark seems to apply the approach of “Dazed and Confused”’s Wooderson to his filmmaking: “That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” In film after film, the “Kids” auteur has kept his tiresome characters firmly in their teenage years, and the unnecessary sequel “Marfa Girl 2” is no exception, continuing his style of grimy exploitation with little growth for him or his characters.

The original “Marfa Girl” was made in 2012 and released in 2015, but “Marfa Girl 2” is set just two years later. The former celebrated the 16th birthday of Adam (Adam Mediano), while the followup reunites with him, now a father of two, on his 18th birthday. Marfa Girl (Drake Burnette) also has a child, who she struggles to parent in the wake of the trauma from the final minutes of the first film.

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“Marfa Girl 2” is constantly permeated by screams — whether from the crying children, fighting teens or mid-coitus lovers — but they can’t drown out the audience’s frustrated sighs. There’s more sex than dialogue here; it’s a small win because the clunky dialogue and its flat delivery from amateur actors is nigh unwatchable, not that the sex scenes are much better. Clark has progressed little in the years since the film’s predecessor, but he’s learned one thing: at least “Marfa Girl 2” is 30 minutes shorter than the original.

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‘Marfa Girl 2’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Glendale Theatre, Glendale

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