Review: Bella Thorn led 'Infamous' fails to put modern spin on 'Bonnie and Clyde'
Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment
The new Bella Thorn flick “Infamous” – obviously constructed to capitalize on her rabid fan-base – tries to imagine what would happen if Bonnie and Clyde had been social media influencers in the digital age. At least that’s what director Joshua Caldwell attempts to conjure in this ill-advised and derivative knockoff that starts to feel like a pounding headache within the first ten minutes.
The entire premise of “Infamous” deals with the mindset of Arielle (Thron) whose only aspirations in life are to become famous. No matter what circumstance transpires, she consistently reminds us that she’s leaving her small Florida hometown in favor of glitz and glamour. Her ticket arrives with bad-boy Dean (Jake Manley) and his plans to start a cross-country robbing scheme, ditching the banks in favor of marijuana shops which are a goldmine for cash.
For reasons Caldwell’s script can’t defend, Arielle livestreams her and Dean’s exploits online to gain followers and notoriety. Overnight she goes from 0 to 3,000 followers and soon thereafter becomes a global sensation and it’s not long before the police are hot on their trails and the two are forced to go into hiding. The need to garner acceptance and feel wanted isn’t the worst narrative tactic “Infamous” dabbles with but taking the time to upload your robberies online proves just how dumb and naïve these characters are and it becomes apparent they’ll be caught, it’s just a matter of when and how that happens.
Caldwell infuses his bank robbing montages with a Daft Punk inspired techno score, which bounces around like a bad acid-trip you can’t wake up from. “Infamous” has the energy and velocity of a Freeform TV series, which makes sense considering Thorn is known from that medium, and she will likely get young viewers to show-up for this. But Thorn isn’t that compelling of a screen presence, her candor and demeanor are cringy and the forced romance between herself and Manley is devoid of any chemistry. I’m also curious about Thorn’s wardrobe throughout this film as she seems to have an unlimited collection of top-designer clothing and makeup, and when you’re the most hunted couple in America, I doubt you have time to make a pitstop at your nearby Target.
Those plot holes in mind, even the action sequences aren’t that exciting and when the two lovers get in a shoot-out with police on an expressway, you’re almost rooting for the good guys. By the time we reach the half-handed conclusion that’s probably the most self-indulgent thing of 2020, we are the ones that end up feeling robbed.
INFAMOUS will be premiere at select drive-ins across the country and on digital platforms starting Friday June 12th