When a drug heist goes awry, two friends find themselves on the run with an alluring woman at its center. Starring Olivia Cooke, Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormick and Alec Baldwin, Pixie is a fun British comedy-thriller, with charismatic performances and a wild plot. It can get a bit convoluted at times, but its style and plot shifts certainly keep you intrigued enough to forgive that.
Pixie (Cooke) is ready to leave her small town in Ireland, for a sunnier life in San Fransisco. She plots a heist to steal from her families rival drug gang, a group that masquerades as nuns and priests. When it all goes wrong, the drugs wind up in the hands of Frank (Hardy) and Harland (McCormack), two misfit best mates who have no idea what they’ve just gotten themselves into.
The clueless duo join Pixie to go on the run and sell the haul off to a dealer, which means making a life-changing amount of money. As the gang, led by Father McGrath (Baldwin), closes in on them, they’ll realize their little plan wasn’t so simple after all.
Directed by Barnaby Thompson, Pixie has a lot to offer from its clever script and strong leads. Set in the vast landscape of the Irish countryside, it has a beautiful contrast to all the criminal happenings that begin to unravel. A blend of a few genres, there’s a nice balance between the ‘crime thriller’ aspect of the film, and its comedic quirks. And the cast carries this well, especially our trio of thieves.
There’s great chemistry between the three of them, but I’m particularly fond of our titular character Pixie, played by Cooke. She commands the screen and personifies this siren of sorts; though it’s not rooted in her sexuality or appearance, but more in her confidence and mystery. I’ve covered several of Cooke’s films recently (Sound of Metal, Little Fish) and I’ve continued to grow as a fan of hers with each. She is so effortless in her acting and such a charmer; and in this role, she is perfect.
Positives aside, I did have one big problem with the overall script, which is that it’s busy, almost too busy. There’s a tangled web of subplots and backstories throughout that just seemed sloppy. Things that could have been further elaborated on were rushed through, with time wasted on unnecessary mentions. For example, there’s a minor ‘Romeo and Juliet’-style subplot with Pixie and a revealed character, but it has no further point to the overall story. Some of those pointless pieces made the remainder of the film feel drawn out and would have been better on the cutting room floor.
Pixie has a lot of good qualities though, that overshadow the somewhat bloated narrative. It has a great setting, a wonderful cast, and an exciting premise. And Baldwin’s take as a corrupt priest is a pleasant surprise. You can check the film out for yourself, available On Demand this Friday, March 5th.