Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 3, 2021)
On the back cover of 2021’s Habit, a blurb promises a film “reminiscent of early Tarantino”. That sets a high bar, so we will see how it compares.
A former celebrity actor named Erik Katz (Gavin Rossdale) hires Texas transplant Mads (Bella Thorne) to run narcotics for him. Inevitably, this gig goes awry.
Mads finds herself on the lam after someone steals the money she collected for Erik. To hide, Mads and her pals Evie (Libby Mintz) and Addy (Andreja Pejic) disguise themselves nuns, a choice that comes with wild consequences.
In theory, at least. In reality, Habit offers a mess of a movie that seeks a level of gleeful anarchy it can’t achieve.
Not in a convincing manner, at least. As the aforementioned blurb promises, Habit does shoot for a Tarantino-esque feel, but it doesn’t pull this off in a satisfying way.
And by that, I mean Habit lacks even the most basic ability to pull off a coherent narrative. Essentially a collection of scene snippets connected by a loose “plot”, it often feels like the screenplay came from idea written on the backs of cocktail napkins, tossed into the air and then cobbled together when they landed.
Nary a single sequence here makes a lick of sense, and most of Habit just delivers random sex, violence and/or drug use intended to seem “outrageous”. None of it boasts even the slightest ability to shock, of course, but the filmmakers seem to think they give us a daring, in your face tale.
Instead, we simply find poorly shot vignettes and nonsensical plot beats. Of all the characters, only Mads gets any real exposition, and even then, we get nothing more than a ridiculous “I’m horny for Jesus” vibe.
Again, all this feels calculated to create controversy. With lines like “they can all suck my Jesus dick”, the filmmakers practically beg to get religious tongues clucked their way.
I doubt even the most thumping of Bible thumpers will bother to exhibit outrage aimed at Habit because it doesn’t deserve the attention. Self-indulgent and tedious, this becomes a poor excuse for a comedic thriller.