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Infamous (2020) Review

By Ian Crow

‘Infamous’ is the new Bella Thorne crime drama that’s due for release on the 31st July in the UK, and is available in drive-in theatres in America right now. The film is set around Arielle (Bella Thorne), a young woman tired of working in her dead end job and not getting the social media attraction she is hoping for. Her life turns upside down when she encounters the new guy in town Dean Taylor (Jake Manley). They quickly hit it off but Dean’s dark past which includes Armed Robbery doesn’t deter Arielle away from him. Both of them decide to go on the road and start robbing shops at gun point, whilst Arielle records all of the robberies and live streams them on her social media channels.

Sitting down watching this didn’t bring much joy. There are many reasons why at times, I found this to be an excruciating and embarrassing watch. Let’s tackle one issue at a time. First of all, the characters overall arc and growth is just unpleasant. From minute one, both Arielle and Dean are sold to be outcasts in society. Dean desperately wants to leave the town he hates so much, yet has only just arrived. Arielle’s obsession with social media stardom, fighting women at parties and smoking weed don’t shine the most positive light on the characters. As they both progress through the story, Dean becomes somewhat bearable as he comes to accept his actions are wrong, whereas Arielle has no remorse as she happily kills innocent bystanders and police officers. There is no sympathy for them at all, and this is the main issue with their arcs. There is no redeeming quality about any of them, which leaves the viewer uninterested in their development or end goal. The other main issue I have with this whole movie is what is wrong with modern society today. The unhealthy obsession to gain followers on social media, to feel like they matter. Ditching real friends who care and replacing them with unknown followers and Arielle’s decision making skills. This is in reference to gain followers by committing criminal acts live on social media.

The acting in ‘Infamous’ is essentially non-existent. Completely one dimensional with no range of emotions that could have been displayed throughout. The bad ass persona is used in the entirety of the movie by Thorne. The story would have benefitted from some signs of remorse or sadness of her actions. It feels as though that Bella Thorne is playing herself and not a character from a script. This is a nod to her use and obsession of social media on her channels. It leaves us frustrated as I believe there is some talent in Bella Thorne, but in recent times, it seems as she portrays the same characters which over time, has become boring and predictable.

‘Infamous’ suffers from personality disorder. It tries to mimic films from the past a little too much, so instead of paying homage, it just comes across as tacky and unoriginal. The main film would be 2011’s ‘Drive’. The use of font, colours and music during the film screams Nicolas Winding Refn and unfortunately, it just doesn’t seem to work in this film. Safe to say, I didn’t enjoy this film. It was going to get away with being a fairly average movie, but the end scene hit the final nail in the coffin for ‘Infamous’. As she is carted away from the big bank she attempts to steal from, she is paraded in front of her “followers” as they have congregated outside to show their appreciation before she is put in the police car. I had to roll my eyes and shake my head. Why any person would go out of their way to go and scream their support for a murderer and armed robber, including YOUNG CHILDREN is just absolutely baffling to me.

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