Fresh. Quick Review

This reviewer heard some buzz regarding this Fox/Disney acquisition from Sundance when it premiered. Given it’s an adult-orientated movie from the House of Mouse it forgoes theatrical release and is sent straight to streaming. Daisy Edgar Jones plays a central character struggling with the perils of modern dating. She meets Sebastian Stan in a supermarket meet-cute. Things progressed to the point where he takes her away for a weekend. In this viewer’s opinion, that’s all that should be known going in. It’s a shame that one of the film’s key poster campaigns gives a very obvious hint as to where the narrative might be going. Especially considering its 35 minutes before the title sequence and any sort of vague hint as to what the hook of the story entails. In theory, there’s nothing wrong with this hook. Edgar Jones and Stan deliver solid performances and the film’s transformation from anti-romcom to contained location thriller are mostly solid enough. That said unfortunately the plot is never really able to take advantage of what ends up becoming the central gimmick in the way it should. This is not exclusively in its hesitance towards any gore. With strong enough writing, the restraint in terms of what is shown onscreen could prove an effective tool. This is not the case here. Not to say the choices made don’t have momentum or the sense of wanting to see how the third act resolves itself. It’s more that while solid enough you have seen this kind of film before. It could be diving head first into the more grungy side of the story or showcasing a more restrained character-focused approach. Fresh does neither and ends up in an awkward middle ground as a result. Given the strength of the central performances, there’s the general sense the film should be better than it is. It’s far from awful and potentially worth a look if you like this specific variety of paranoid limited location storytelling. That said with a more defined focus in terms of the exact tone the narrative wanted to hit this could have been so much better.

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