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Review: MaXXXine. Female rage goals at their best

  • Release year: 2024
  • Directors: Ti West.
  • Producers: Mia Goth, Jacob Jaffke, Harrison Kreiss, Kevin Turen and Ti West.
  • Screenplay by: Ti West.
  • Cinematography by: Eliot Rockett.
  • Music by: Tyler Bates.

Synopsis: a porn star just got her big break on a horror film when a serial killer seemingly tries to ruin her plans.

Shotgun Commentary: third time’s a charm! Fantastic horror film with great aesthetics and cast.

Teddy Night, Esq. (Giancarlo Esposito) and Maxine Minx (Mia Goth).
Source: MaXXXine (Ti West, 2024).

Review

MaXXXine is the third instalment of Ti West’s trilogy of Maxine & Pearl’s story. After totally bombing with X (2022), and somewhat saying something with Pearl (2022), MaXXXine finally delivers a film worth watching beginning to end. Mia Goth gets to shine brighter than ever with a cast that matches her talent.

Sex and violence as usual

Much like in X and Pearl, the sexualisation of violence is still very much a relevant topic. Perhaps made even more cringy after the viewing of a particular video in From My Cold Dead Hands (2024), the sucking of a gun feels very, very wrong in any circumstance.

That being said, West proposes a situation in which, while completely unnecessary, this act and everything before and after feels very much justified. This scene in particular reverses the traditional roles when it comes to guns and sex, decisively taking a feminist stand by exposing the situation from Maxine’s perspective. Unlike in the previous instalments, women take the reins of this narrative, leaving the secondary roles for the men. This is ironic considering that the serial killer targets women, a stroke of reality in an otherwise violent but incredibly inspiring adventure led by women.

Chaos, gurl

While MaXXXine is interesting and a lot of fun, one also needs to acknowledge the chaotic delivery. The script loses its grip on reality and logic a few times, mostly around the actions of the police. They follow Maxine when she’s about to do something heroic but not when she commits crimes, they are separate but get together during a shootout, they lose going against one deranged guy, which doesn’t do much to LAPD’s reputation…

Detective Williams (Michelle Monaghan). Source: MaXXXine (Ti West, 2024).

Also, a reflective silver gun isn’t the most discreet, is it? And why wait until after the last second to conveniently remember that you could’ve broken free all along? And what is up with that flashback out of nowhere that brings absolutely nothing new to the table?

The butterfly is born among talent

Chaotic delivery, bad decisions and unexplainable editing choices aside, this is the best Ti West film of the trilogy. Works pretty well as a slasher, works nicely as a noir film, and works fantastically as a female rage feature. Less on the nose than Pearl (Pearl), Maxine carries her anger and passion discreetly. She doesn’t lose her mind unless completely necessary and understandable, making her a lot more relatable and likeable. You actually root for her and her dreams in this instalment, unlike in X where she’s just sort of there. Mia Goth is great in the three films, but it is delightful to finally see her in a role that allows her to excel.

Her supporting cast, Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Debicki and Giancarlo Esposito, they are simply wonderful in their roles. Kevin Bacon plays John Labat, a slimy private detective incredibly easy to hate. He manages to add charisma to a very unlikeable human being, providing both fun and the perfect target to hate.

John Labat (Kevin Bacon). Source: MaXXXine (Ti West, 2024).

Speaking of charisma, Giancarlo Esposito as Teddy Night, Esq., is full of it. Despite the ridiculous wig he’s sporting, his character earns your respect with pure swag. As for Elizabeth Debicki as Elizabeth Bender, she is heroine material. Her role as decisive and smart film director with important things to say and no tolerance for bullsh*t make her one of the most legendary characters of 2024.

All in all, MaXXXine is the redemption of Ti West. After two hits and misses, he’s finally found the story he actually wanted to tell, making this film eons better than the previous instalments. It is fun, creepy, mysterious and, most of all, brimming in style and gorgeous aesthetics.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • Sometimes, busting balls is completely justified.
  • Don’t be afraid to say what you want, you won’t get it otherwise.
  • Religion is a breeding ground for lunatics, but what else is new.
Maxine Minx (Mia Goth). Source: MaXXXine (Ti West, 2024).

What’s your take? Have you watched MaXXXine? Which is your favourite of the Ti West trilogy? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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