Do Revenge updates mean girl movies borrow a chaotic revenge story

(From left) Maya Hawke and Ka Mendes starring Jennifer Kaiten Robinson, Do Revenge.

(From left) Maya Hawke and Ka Mendes starring Jennifer Kaiten Robinson take revenge.
picture: Netflix

by its inclusion of rude language and its accusation of progressive culture, take revenge It’s a modern-day movie – but it plays as a love letter to the brutal and sweet teen-themed movies of the ’80s, ’90s and early 2000s – poignant cornerstones like HeathersAnd the ignorantAnd the JawbreakerAnd the Bad intentions And the I mean girls. Director Jennifer Kaiten Robinson puts in enough spin on tradition while displaying a homage to her cinematic predecessors, creating a uniquely spiky feature centered around two sharp-minded people. School elders who cooperate to avenge their tormentors. And while there are major faults, her bright, spirited attitude and charismatic driving force is a delightfully sinister journey.

Drea (Camila Mendes) is an alpha queen from Rosehill Private School, who dates the school’s golden boy Max (Austin Abrams) and works with wealthy elite best friends such as Tara (Alicha Boy), Megan (Paris Perelke) and Montana (Maya Reveco). She also works overtime to hide the fact that she’s on a scholarship, stores in thrift stores for her fashion, and lives in a modest house across town. The 17-year-old social climber carefully took care of her world, making sure she did everything right, especially to secure a place at her dream university, Yale. But once she reaches the height of her power, tragedy erupts when her sex video for Max is leaked to the entire school, destroying everything from her romance to her friendships.

After punching Drea, not the culprit Max, lands in the principal’s office (a veil that will spark pure joy for teenage movie fans), Drea promises she’ll get no more revenge on her sticky ex-boyfriend in order to protect her future. However, the conniving and double big guy has a sneaky plan, joining up with new transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke). Peta the Mouse finds common ground with Derya’s predicament after being made the recipient of unfair social scorn at the hands of a ruthless bully. Then the dynamic duo hatch a plot for Eleanor to infiltrate Max’s clique and for Drea to befriend bully Eleanor Karissa (Ava Capri), only to expose their persecutors as crooks and expel them. Bustle and hilarity ensue, as well as unexpected alliances that threaten their best plans.

Robinson, who skillfully wrote and supervised the highly resonant comedy great person , Showing greater maturity in her skill set as a filmmaker, here she balances insight, vision and chromatic bandwidth with style and vibrancy. She and editors David S. Clark and Lori Ball focus on character-driven action and the escalation of comedy tricks. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne and costume designer Alana Morshead saturated, ultra-feminine palette of soft pastels and vibrant jewel tones Rips pages of inspiration book search of JawbreakerAnd the ignorant And the I mean girls. there is more ignorant References were dropped everywhere, from the dialogue (“I’m kvelling!”) to the production design (the school building named “Horowitz Hall”).

Robinson and his screenwriting partner Celeste Ballard also pull much of their acid-biting character aspirations from their touchstones. I mean girls, Heathers And the Bad intentions. In one sequence, Derya stands amidst the school’s outbreak of chaos Regina George-style. Her wit and narcissistic vanity are reminiscent of Heather Chandler, and her machinations seem to be inherited from Kathryn Mertwell. And they borrow too JawbreakerThe plot thread is where a meek girl sneaks into the folk band only to get a little carried away.

Yet within all the loving homage, the filmmakers turn these straightforward moments into their own indelible moments. The described change sequence of this kind is treated with a healthy sense of humor and liveliness. The new smart portmanteau is shy, never flop. The addition of queer romance is a welcome update, propelling the genre further into the 21st centuryStreet century. The soundtrack that mixes classic and contemporary songs (even using the cover of “Kids In America” ​​from The Muffs) also shines as a reflective expression, linking old and new.

Mendes turns out with a perfect performance on the court, tasked with walking the fine line of being a villainous hero to root for. The “undesirable heroine” in her cunning hands is quite sympathetic and persuasive. Hawke playfully explores the hidden sides of her character’s plight with tenderness and tenacity. Talia Ryder, playing Eleanor’s love Gabi, is in a charming “dirty teen” setting full of lazy vibes, vocal frying, and an uncomfortable tomboy wardrobe. Sophie Turner, who plays Daria’s arrogant nemesis Erica, shows off her comedic chops in a very short appearance.

Unfortunately, the movie carries some of the genre’s worst instincts without sufficiently reimagining or updating them. Introducing a frenzied twist at the end of Chapter 2, when an inevitable whirlwind occurs in Drea and Eleanor’s revenge plot, deals their arcs with a blow as their anticipated conflict is not used to the best of their abilities. Rather than using this as a focal point as heroes mature from their crude and misguided rage, proving they can get what they want and become better people in the process, this conspirator reveals a 20-minute hijacking of momentum, testing audience loyalty as he does. One of the irreplaceable heroines. There is a much simpler and less complicated way to get to the finish line – a path that these filmmakers fail to follow.

Is revenge | Official Trailer | Netflix

In terms of the supporting group, the character build is also choppy. Tara’s final play for redemption, after showing little or no real remorse for dropping Drea as a friend, relies on the convenience of screenwriting. The attempt to humanize Max, in the scene in which he laments his popularity and longs for a life of greater meaning and seclusion, offers a rare glimpse into his weakness that ultimately proves useless as it adds depth to someone who doesn’t deserve it. It doesn’t act as a precursor and hardly a hollow cliché about how well these childish games do. When it comes to Eleanor and Doria’s anniversaries, Gabe and Ross (Rish Shah), the shutdown is treated as an afterthought, transformed into emotionally unearned end scenes.

Despite those pests, Robinson and her collaborators broadcast take revenge With an appropriately clear view of the sterility and stupidity of high school social hierarchies. Although its narrative would be better with a more streamlined approach, the messy and loving drama ultimately reflects many of the teen’s collective experience — fortunately, not everyone is as prestigious as the characters in this movie, but sometimes it can be fun to watch. From distance: distance.

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