Dro Revenge, a sharp black comedy on Netflix starring Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke as a revenge-obsessed high school student, is a hypothetical show of teen movie nostalgia—a shopping mall to honor, if you will. Students at Miami’s posh Rosehill Academy wear elaborate and ridiculous, La Clueless outfits. A popular children’s lounge on the fountain, a la Scream. There’s a tour of Rosehill groups–the zodiac ideas club, theater nerds–style Girls Moral and 10 Things I Hate About You. As in She’s All That, Clueless, or countless others, Mendes’s Drea, a cold-blooded fighter single-mindedly focused on getting in – where else? Yale gives awkward newcomer Eleanor (Hawkeye) a makeover. The role of Rosehill’s boss, the only adult character, was played by ’90s star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
It would be easy for a movie to get lost in the reference sauce, but Do Revenge, by Jennifer Kaiten Robinson and Celeste Ballard, fortunately combines familiar notices and metaphors with updated allusions aimed at Gen Z. – Speak “choosing violence”, “safe space” and “as a colorful colleague” with delicious disdain. The no-skip soundtrack pairs ’90s nods like Meredith Brooks, Hole, and Fatboy Slim with contemporary needle drops from Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, MUNA, and Caroline Polachek’s So Hot You Hurting My Feelings. (Haim’s Amanda Yamaty and East Haim created the instrumental score for the new noir.) Schoolboy golden boy, very wealthy Lush Max (Austin Abrams of Euphoria) has done nail polish and galore – a tad more delicate than Jock. Harry Styles by John Tucker.
Like this summer’s Honor Society, Paramount’s surprisingly sharp-toothed teen film about a girl so uniquely obsessed with getting into Harvard that she seduces a competitor to lower his grades, Do Revenge leans more on the satirical, campy side of American teen film canon. Led by Mendes and Hawk’s leading performances, the bloated girl’s gruff with a candy-covered crust is a fun, if long, time.
In particular, Mendes’ six years in Riverdale polished her performance of a famous prostitute with a secret weakness to a good point that could be refinished. Although she looks quite adult (Mendez is 28), she tears up the scene — and everyone around her is like a Rosehill bumblebee, an overachiever who makes up for her middle-class roots (her single, off-screen mother, a nurse). That is, until her sex tape, dedicated to boyfriend Max, gets leaked, and she becomes a social outcast overnight; These sorts of things, she said a little balding, never hurt a guy’s reputation. At a summer tennis camp at the Ritzy Palm Beach Hotel, she meets transfer student Eleanor, who is still pissed off at a rumor started years earlier by fellow camper Karissa (Ava Capri).
Robinson, the film’s director (after Netflix’s 2019 romcom Someone Great), said her initial inspiration was Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, but instead of two men exchanging murder assignments, these two high school girls fight back exchange vengeful targets, “like a mission rabbit.” fucked.” Drea searches for dirt in Karissa’s school garden, where she’s been banished as punishment for slapping Max for leaking the video—and begins to fall in love with Karissa Ross’ (Mrs. Marvel Rich Shah) best friend, the humble (but still hot) nerd not Ben Badgley in John Tucker He must die. Glowing Eleanor infiltrates Max’s social circle for proof that he’s not the “ally” he claims to be with his team called Cis-Hetero Men Championing Female Identification Champions League – and falls in love with his sister Gabbi (hello, bye and everything in between Talia Ryder), that you see through its work.
Vengeance plots quickly escalate into the inexcusable, such as repeating the original sin of leaking personal messages. After a good development about two-thirds of the way, things roll down a chain of social behavior (and rationalizations for said behavior). At 118 minutes, Do Revenge is too bloated to handle that much overflow. It’s refreshing, Mendes and Hawke said, to have two main characters who are completely uninterested in love, to use a term so deeply loaded, but need someone to root for in a two-hour movie; Camp narcissism can only engage for a long time. And even in the extraordinarily long runtime, scenes seem to be missing – Eleanor and Gabe seem to already know each other when they first met at school, Drea and Ross have an affair in less than two scenes, and Gabe’s feminist relationship with her brother remains a mystery.
However, Do Revenge offers just enough refreshing slips to make an actual imprint. Robinson’s flamboyant direction, vibrant production design from Hilary Gortler, and flashy, delicious costumes from costume designer Alana Morshead land her in the highest level of visual quality for Netflix movies. And while I don’t necessarily see lines like “Your new taste is high cunt” stuck out as well as, say, “Entering at a loss, we’re going shopping,” Do Revenge still recognizes zingers as one of the best recent entries in the beloved genre.
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