Thursday, August 22, 2019

'Ready or Not,' here comes an actress with which to reckon and probably very soon

Here comes Samara Weaving, ready or not.
Even if you've never heard of Samara Weaving, it might be best to remember her name. The niece of the notorious Hugo Weaving (from "Matrix" and many others) might be familiar from her ongoing turn as the girlfriend of the pivotal baby daddy in Showtime's infamously cancelled "SMILF."

Samara played a kind of voice of reason on the crazy comedy, that is, until the last few episodes gave her some room to explode. Now she's doing just that on the big screen, too, with a movie-carrying performance as the put-upon bride taking care of family business -- and herself -- in "Ready or Not."

By the time the sun shines through the day after Weaving's Grace (owning one helluva misnomer in this case) marries a rich guy (Mark O'Brien), she has chewed up and spit out just about every mean-spirited member of new hubby's excessively elite clan.

Certainly they deserve what they may or may not get, since some historical hocus-pocus dictates a kind of game night escapade whenever a potential new beneficiary enters their midst.

So, on her wedding night, Grace gets her official "welcome" after she somewhat merrily pulls the venerable Hide and Seek card from a likely fixed deck. After all, the family fortune came from the gaming business, and everything that might entail, including deal-making. Get it? Wink, wink.

On this lengthy but quick-moving evening, our heroine gets to know a mansion filled with closets, kids, various weapons of choice, servants, and one very smart dumb waiter. There's also the in-laws, headed by strange birds (Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell), the groom's drunken brother (Adam Brody), and their ferociously bloodthirsty aunt (longtime TV actress Nicky Guadagni).

None, though, are as watchable as the pretty, prancing, plotting, primal Weaving, who also helps deliver some of the dark humor she teams with to save this predictable, but engaging enough summer horror silliness.

Rated "R": violence, bloody images, language throughout and some drug use; 1:35; $ $ $ out of $5


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