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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | August 21, 2006

If Phyllis Dietrichson had a granddaughter, one who learned the tricks of her granny with Walter Nief, then it would be Mini who’d carry on the mantle. But, as with all femme fatales, you’re left wondering, is Mini brilliant, or is she simply an average person in a world of predictable imbeciles?

Nikki Reed, in all her utter unique dripping sex appeal, takes much of the mystique and allure from her debut “Thirteen” (one of the best movies I’ve seen in years) and brings it down to her newest feature “Mini’s First Time”, the story of a young girl who is always five steps ahead of everyone. The world is her chess board, and the people she involves herself with are her pawns.

Reed shows she’s grown from her roots as a promiscuous thirteen year old now as a promiscuous and utterly conniving eighteen year old enjoying the world and playing all of the despicable people that litter the environment around her. And as long as you take a cold shower afterwards, you’ll enjoy Nikki Reed’s performance and the way she seems to be having a hell of a time with Mini manipulating and seizing control from her elders. “Mini’s First Time” often begs the question: did the world make Mini evil, or was Mini born that way?

She doesn’t seem to care, because she’s just enjoying making others miserable, as often as possible. Most of “Mini’s First Time” revolves around her attempts to explore life and the work of a prostitute. This experiment eventually leads her to a mistaken rendezvous with her stepfather Martin, which transforms into a relationship. Mini decides in order to proceed with the relationship unfettered, and she has to get her mother Diane out of the way through a gradual process of inflicted insanity.

Carrie Anne Moss carries over much of the same overbearing mother character from “The Chumscrubber” which is one of the downfalls of this dark murder mystery, but Alec Baldwin channels much of Fred MacMurray’s utterly gullibility and tunnel vision in his infatuation with Mini, and steals much of the scenes. “Mini’s First Time” starts off as an upper crest comedy to a dark murder mystery where our suspects just dig themselves in deeper and deeper, and you can’t help but feel threatened by Luke Wilson’s foil of a detective whose interest in this couple grows as the clues rise.

Wilson’s performance is engrossing as a man who seems ignorant at first glance and shows his teeth as the plot thickens. Mini is a wonderful character, and she’s the villain you simply can’t help but root for, watching the dominoes fall where they must, and lets these yuppies self-destruct. Reed gives a very good devious performance as a character you’ll enjoy hating. The girl can’t help it.

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