An Important Topic Overshadowed By Sloppy Editing
I Am All Girls is a tough watch at times. It’s a movie that certainly doesn’t shy away from the important topics of child abuse and human trafficking. With a good pacing and a respectful tribute to the victims, this movie is let down by some sloppy editing.
Before diving into this one, it’s worth mentioning that I Am All Girls spoils several big reveals within the opening 5 minutes of the movie. One of these involves a taped confession revealing the harrowing truth about child trafficking. The other happens to be the identity of our vigilante killer.
For the purposes of this review I won’t spoil that here, but suffice to say it undermines what could have been a really emotional and surprising moment late on during the film’s climactic act. But let’s back up a bit.
I Am All Girls takes place deep in the heart of South Africa. Specifically, it follows special investigator Jodie Snyman as she begins investigating a string of murders to men involved in trafficking rings. With initials etched on their chest, Jodie follows the breadcrumb trail to the real ringleaders at the top of all this.
Following her along for the journey is Ntombizonke Bapai, a quiet young woman with a keen eye for detail. Along the way, Jodie is also joined by Captain George, and together the group set out to uncover the traffickers.
On paper, the movie has all the hallmarks to be a sure-fire hit but those aforementioned reveals leave a good part of the 90 minute run-time lacking a crucial whodunit component. Instead, most of the movie follows Jodie playing catch-up to what we already know. There’s also a crowbarred romantic angle echoed here too, but it’s not given anywhere near enough focus or screen-time to justify its inclusion.
What does work much better, however, are the ideas around justice and highlighting a very real and very troubling reality surrounding trafficking. It’s a problem affecting much of the world and oftentimes criminally under-reported too. The fact that I Am All Girls has the courage to portray this in such raw fashion is something that should definitely be praised. It’s just a pity that the movie’s screenplay lets the ambition down.
The acting is good all round though, and the cast certainly do their best with the material given. This is accompanied by some slick camera work and beautifully shot montages too, including one particularly memorable instance midway through the movie.
Overall, I Am All Girls is a solid thriller let down by some questionable editing that spoils a big reveal within the opening 5 minutes of the movie. Despite that, there’s certainly enough to like here and the topic of trafficking is handled with respect and care, wrapping everything up nicely at the end. It may not be the best revenge thriller of the year but it is a solid watch nonetheless.