Review: Scrapper

Title: Scrapper
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Charlotte Regan
Starring: Lola Campbell, Harris Dickinson, Cary Crankson
Runtime: 1 hour 24 minutes

What it is: A young girl named Georgie (Lola Campbell) has been living on her own since her mother died. She steals bikes with her best friend to earn a living and is more or less the neighborhood thug. This all changes, however, when her estranged father (Harris Dickinson)suddenly hops her fence and renters her life unannounced. Immediately, the two do not get along, but they have much more in common than they think. In this bright and colorful film, a father and daughter learn what it means to be a family.

What We Think: I think I have a lot of mixed feelings about this film. First, I’ll start with the positives: Lola Campbell is an amazing actress for her age. She conveys her character well and you can easily see both her character’s vulnerability and still buy that she can beat up the neighborhood kids. Harris Dickinson is great as a father who is out of his depth. He plays his character as relatively mysterious but human and even though you aren’t quite sure what he wants when he re-enters Georgie’s life, you can definitely see through his acting that at least on some level he does care for his daughter. The film is well shot and very colorful and at times very stylized. A lot of love did go into this film and it’s relatively heartfelt and enjoyable. When the humor hits it hits and the characters are ones you want to root for. Overall, this film is sweet with a capital s.

Despite it being a relatively sweet film about family, something didn’t quite sit right with me after I watched it. I had to take a little time to formulate my thoughts regarding it, because for the most part, this inoffensive film is very good. I walked away from it feeling exhausted, though. It took me a bit to figure out why, but I think I eventually figured out my main issue with it. My biggest critique regarding this film is the tone wise it’s a little everywhere. It’s a drama trying desperately to masquerade as a comedy. While the humor does sometimes hit, it feels a little out of place regarding the story that’s trying to be told. One moment everything is stylized, tongue and cheek, and colorful, another everything is painfully realistic. There was a bit of mood whiplash going on throughout and it felt like the movie needed to pick a lane and stick to it. At times the movie feels like a bleak drama, at times it’s a feel good comedy. If it weren’t for the constant shifts in tone, I think I would’ve enjoyed this movie more. I also think the ending could’ve used a few more drafts because it was easily the weakest part of the movie. Felt like everything built up to a somewhat unremarkable climax, and for these characters the movie got me to root for, they deserved a better climax to the story.

Our Grade: B, Scrapper is a good film with great acting and a lot of heart put into it. It only didn’t score higher due to being tonally all over the place and having a lackluster ending. It’s characters and humor are saving graces and it does have some genuine heart aching moments.