I Care a Lot

I Care a Lot ★★★½

I think it overplays things by the end, especially with the heavy handed voiceover laying out some grand overarching vision of American ambition or whatever. It just feels a little grandiose, and I think this story works best when it's close to the ground, when it's about the nitty-gritty of this one particular scam, or the procedural details of this character getting herself out of trouble, one step at a time.

Because these are moments when Rosamund Pike is on screen, and she lets us see the gears turning in her head, some Machiavellian machination forming as she stares down her adversaries. It's fun to see this small-time shitbag outsmart much larger shitbags, even if her doing so doesn't make her any less of a terrible person. Rosamund Pike makes it work, projecting the relish that her character puts into her scheming, making the character as magnetic as she is sociopathic.

We don't really need to hear the character talk about how she views herself, how she justifies whatever it is that she's doing. It's immaterial, in the end. We don't need to have the themes explained like that. It is enough that this character exists, and that we see her exploiting people in the way that she does. It would've gotten there, even if the movie eschewed becoming a little operatic.

Still, this was some pulpy fun. Feels a lot like a Shane Black movie, even if it kind of loses it in the end.