Action-comedy is a genre that has been on a downwards trajectory in recent times as a lack of innovation in the space has led to the same subpar product being repackaged and sold again and again until the audiences have become disinterested. This is what we used to believe but after sitting through ‘The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater’, we can safely say that the husband-wife duo of Lorrisa and C.J. Julianus has breathed new life into this genre, both literally and figuratively.
Written by Lorrisa and directed by C.J., The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater is an action-comedy feature that stars Mrs. Julianus herself along with a star-studded cast that includes Mickey O’Sullivan, Shannon Brown, and Molly Morgan. The film follows the exploits of an art historian ‘Ava Moriarty’ who also moonlights as a dominatrix to make her ends meet. After finding herself in a bit of a financial pickle, Moriarty is tasked with duping a priest who might be hiding an expensive treasure. An action-packed adventure soon begins as the priest and the historian join forces against the evil forces that seek to do them harm.
The most important prerequisite for any action adventure is that it should be light, fresh, and witty along with a few surprises that would impress even the most ardent fans of the genre. A lot of films fail in this regard as regurgitated scripts are polished with new faces and sold as the next big summer adventure. However, when it comes to ‘The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater’, this is where the film truly excels. The script introduces a real sense of wit and adventure into the story that is sadly missing from most films of today.
The characters are fun and appealing, the story has real stakes, and the comedy hits the spot all of the time. Therefore, thanks to the script, the film is elevated to a level where it can be appreciated for both its originality and its sense of adventure.
Another strong suit of the Misadventures of Mistress Maneater is how it is made up of characters that are instantly likeable. This has as much to do with the actors behind these characters as much as the writer but from Lorrisa Julianus who plays the dominatrix/art historian Ava Moriarty to Mickey O’Sullivan who plays the priest Radovan, the film is jam packed with characters who are literally the life of the story.
The chemistry between Lorrisa and Mickey is perfect and as the two embark on an adventure of a lifetime, we cannot help but root for both of them. The actors had a lot of fun bringing these characters to life and we, as the audience, find ourselves privileged enough to share in on the fun as well. In addition, the creatives behind the film have made it so that the outlandish premise of the film is woven into the story organically.
It is clear that this was a mid-to-low budget film, but this did not prevent its makers from going all out in the action and stunt department. From martial arts duels involving multiple actors to car chases, the film has it all. The action complements the comedy well and it’s not just action for the sake of action itself; the action has stakes and happens in creative ways that move the story forwards. Equally impressive is the narrative momentum that makes the film breeze by, ensuring that the audiences are not bored for even a second.
To conclude, we loved The Misadventures of Mistress Maneater for a variety of reasons. First, it did not feel like a drag at any point in its runtime. Second, we loved the chemistry between the leads and how their two entirely different backgrounds both aided and hindered their ability to work together and finally, the film made us want more adventures with Moriarty and Radovan.
This only happens when the writing is perfect, the direction sharp and the overall experience fantastic. We sincerely hope more people find this gem and experience it for themselves.