‘Pixie’ overview: Olivia Cooke works her magic in crime comedy

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Insofar because the Irish crime comedy “Pixie” has its moments, they’re attributable to lead Olivia Cooke working her magic.

“As soon as upon a time within the west … of Eire,” we’re informed, some low-level thugs rip off mid-level drug sellers and the high-level unhealthy guys are finally introduced into the battle. The spark is the titular Pixie (Cooke), whom we meet vowing vengeance over her mom’s grave, then come to see she is a related, scheming charmer who can suppose on her ft. Two sort-of slacker buddies (Ben Hardy and Daryl McCormack), each bewitched by Pixie, get blended up in it, considering they’ll work out a deal regardless of their lack of bona fides and … let’s simply say that Colm Meaney and Alec Baldwin are additionally round to play the bosses.

The movie opens with huge Quentin Tarantino vitality, circa “Pulp Fiction,” which is sort of by no means a superb signal. Happily, “Pixie” leaves that ingenious traditional behind and finds its identification quickly, because of its interesting star. By now, Cooke has put collectively sufficient of a physique of labor that it’s protected to say she’s good in all the things. Generally a lot better than good. Why she wasn’t within the supporting-actress dialog this awards season for her soulful, pained flip in “Sound of Steel” is a thriller, and she or he was memorable in “Me and Earl and the Dying Woman.” Quickly (although not quickly sufficient for George R.R. Martin followers), she’ll be one of many reportedly foremost characters within the “Recreation of Thrones” prequel collection, “Home of the Dragon.”

Right here, Cooke, a Manchester native, convincingly turns Irish because the spirited younger girl who beguiles most everybody however at all times appears to have a hidden agenda. Because the poet sang, she may have her manner. Many scenes appear constructed to do nothing however put her powers of persuasion on show, and Pixie appears to have a great deal of good enjoyable doing so.

Because the buddies, Hardy and McCormack function efficient foils for Cooke. At instances, it’s like a mini-road film through which these semi-doofuses maintain being amazed by the brutal realities of the legal world Pixie effortlessly prances by.

Baldwin seems as — as he clearly must be — a murderous, drug-dealing, Irish priest. Sadly, he’s under-deployed in a small position. One is left wishing there was an epic verbal confrontation between him and Meaney, maybe some Mamet-y fusillade of insults somewhat than bushels of bullets.

Sadly, the motion is just not well-handled. There are moments that appear performed for laughs (an apparent John Woo quote within the type of a slow-mo backward soar whereas firing, as an illustration), however the visible jokes aren’t executed expertly sufficient to land. The violence lacks impression, whether or not emotional, visceral or humorous. And the end result of Pixie’s quest appears fully mishandled, nearly shrugged off in a manner that undercuts your complete movie.

“Pixie” isn’t precisely magical, however amusing sufficient every time Cooke’s character casts her spell.

‘Pixie’

Rated: R for violence, language, drug content material and a few sexual references

Operating time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Enjoying: Obtainable March 5 on digital and VOD; and in restricted launch the place theaters are open; Cinelounge Drive-in, Hollywood, March 5 solely

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