Imagine if you put “Twin Peaks” and “Sin City” in a blender with a splash of Coen brothers-style criminality and a heaping helping of fierce female vengeance, you would get “Reprisal,” a so-called “hyper-noir” story that will be available on the Hulu streaming site starting on December 6.
Abigail Spencer, who played Daniel Holden’s sister on “Rectify,” stars as a woman left for dead by her brother Burt (Rory Cochrane) and his gang. She assumes a new identity as a restaurant owner and chef while caring for her ailing rich husband (Ray McKinnon of “Deadwood” and “Sons of Anarchy”). But when he passes away, her Doris Quinn aka Katherine Harlow turns full-on femme fatale as she attempts to rescue her niece from the same violent gang of gearheads who tried to kill her.
The cast also includes Rodrigo Santoro (“Westworld”) as the leader of the Banished Brawlers, Madison Davenport (“Sharp Objects”) as Spencer’s striptease-performing and drug-dealing niece, Mena Massoud (the live-action “Aladdin”) as Spencer’s undercover helper and Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”) as the emcee of the garish strip club. The acting teeters on the brink of campy B-movie emoting, but in an entertaining way.
But what is most intriguing is the mash-up of stylish touches that seem to borrow from several decades all at once. There are old-school bowling alleys, lots of convenient phone booths, old-fashioned diners, a car lot’s worth of vintage vehicles, fashions that span the decades while the mood is set by plenty of low lighting, dark streets and moody neon that would do Humphrey Bogart proud. There is a retro feel to it all, but what is new is how the women in the cast are to be just as lethal and conniving as the men all too often underestimate the opposite sex.
“Reprisal” also trusts viewers to pick up their own clues along the way as it takes its time to connect the players on screen and assign them their motives. Meanwhile, Spencer’s character has just enough crazy in her eyes to keep you on edge as she puts into place her payback plan. Check out the trailer above and see if it doesn’t say “watch me.”
The series is created and executive-produced by Josh Corbin, who previously wrote and directed the film “The Elm Tree” and wrote for the TV series “StartUp.”
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