With its inclusion of obscene language and its indictment of progressive culture, take revenge A film for the modern age—but it plays like a love letter to the brutal and sweet teen-themed movies of the 1980s, ’90s, and early ’00s—as impressive cornerstones heathers, no news, jaw breaker, cruel intentions And mean Girls, Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson casts a substantial spin on tradition while displaying a reverence for its cinematic forebears, creating a distinctly prickly feature centered on two sharp-minded high School seniors who team up to take revenge on their oppressors. And while there are big missteps, overall its bright, spirited attitude and charming, propulsive gusto power make for a delightfully wicked journey.
Dria (Camila Mendes) is the impeccably styled alpha queen of Rosehill Private School, dating the school’s golden boy Max (Austin Abrams) and Tara (Alisha Bo), Meghan (Paris Berelc) and Montana (Maia Refico). As with the rich nobles. She also works overtime to hide the fact that she is on a scholarship, shops for her fashion at thrift stores and lives in a modest house on the other side of town. This timid, social climbing 17-year-old has carefully crafted her world, making sure she’s done everything right, especially to secure a spot at the university of her dreams, Yale. But as she reaches the pinnacle of her powers, tragedy strikes when her private sext video for Max is leaked throughout the school, ruining everything from their romance to their friendship.
After a punch lands in the headmaster’s office, and not criminal Max, (a cameo that would yield pure joy to teen-movie fans), Dre promises not to retaliate further against his estranged ex-boyfriend. protect his future. However, the copycat, the conniving senior, has a sneaky plan, joining forces with new transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke). Musi Beta finds common ground with Dria’s plight after becoming the recipient of undue social disdain at the hands of a brutal bully. The dynamic duo then plot for Eleanor to infiltrate Max’s faction and for Dre to befriend Eleanor’s bully Carissa (Ava Capri), only to expose their oppressors as frauds and expel them. For. Hijinks and hilarity ensues, as do unlikely alliances that threaten their best plans.
Robinson, who deftly wrote and directed the highly resonant romcom someone great, Shows greater maturity in his skill set as a filmmaker, here balancing insight, vision and tonal bandwidth with style and action. He and editors David S. Clark and Lori Ball focus on character-driven action and escalating comedic shenanigans. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne and costume designer Alana Morshed’s saturated, uber-feminine color palette of soft pastels and vibrant jewel tones turn the pages of look-book inspiration jaw breaker, no news And mean Girls, there are more no news References were dropped everywhere, from dialogue (“I’m Kewelling!”) to production design (a school building called “Horowitz Hall”).
Robinson and co-screenwriter Celeste Ballard also draw most of their sharp, acidic character aspirations from touchstones. Mean Girls, Heathers And cruel intentions, In one sequence, Dria stands in the middle of a school erupting in chaos at a la Regina George. His biting wit and narcissistic ego are reminiscent of Heather Chandler, and his plans are inherited from Catherine Merteuil. and borrow jaw breakerPlot thread where a meek girl infiltrates the popular squad, only to be swayed a bit.
Yet within all the loving tributes, the filmmakers turn these direct pulls into indelible moments of their own. The genre’s determined, reductive makeover sequence is tackled with a healthy sense of humor and vigor. Clever newfungal portmanteaus are cheeky, never flashy. The addition of a queer romance is a welcome update, bringing the genre to 21. advances inscheduled tribe century. The soundtrack that mixes classic and contemporary hits (even using a cover of “Kids in America” by The Muffs) also shines as a contemplative narration linking old and new.
Mendes turns in a pitch-perfect performance, which we work to walk a fine line of being a villainous hero. In her cunning hands the “obnoxious heroine” is utterly sympathetic and compelling. Hawk explores the hidden aspects of her character’s plight with tenderness and tenacity. Talia Ryder, playing Eleanor’s love interest Gabby, is in charmingly sappy “teenage dirtbag” mode, complete with a slacker vibe, vocal fry, and unfiltered tomboy-ish wardrobe. Sophie Turner, who plays Dre’s snooty frenemy Erica, shows off her comedic style in a very brief way.
Unfortunately, the film takes on some of the genre’s worst trend without adequately reimagining or updating it. The beginning of a crazy twist at the end of Act Two, when Dria and Eleanor’s plot of revenge suffers an inevitable hiccup, causing their arcs to take a hit as their supposed conflict is not being used to the best of their abilities. is done. Instead of using it as a pivot point where the heroes mature from their flirtatious, misguided rage, proving that they can get what they want and become better people in the process, this fictionalized Hijacks the pace for 20 minutes, testing audience loyalty as it makes one of the heroines irreplaceable. There’s a simpler, far less complicated way to get to the finish line—a path these filmmakers fail to take.
In terms of its supporting ensemble cast, the character creation is spotty as well. After showing little or no real remorse for leaving Dre as a friend, Tara’s final play for redemption relies on a ham-handed screenwriting facility. Max’s attempt to humanize, in the scene where he mourns his popularity and longs for a life with more meaning and solitude, offers a rare glimpse at his vulnerability that ultimately proves worthless because it is someone who Adds depth to the person who doesn’t deserve it. It doesn’t serve as a foreshadowing and barely serves as a hollow preoccupation with how demonstrative these childish games are. When it comes to Eleanor and Dre’s respective lovers Gabbi and Russ (Rish Shah), the finale is treated as an afterthought, emotionally relegated to the unearned end credits scenes.
Despite those fights, Robinson and his associates impress. take revenge With an appropriately frank view of the futility and stupidity of high school social hierarchies. Although their narrative would be better served by a more streamlined approach, the messy and romantic drama ultimately mirrors many of the collective teenage experience—thankfully, not everyone is as towering as the characters in this film, but sometimes it’s one. It can be fun to watch from a distance.