Do Revenge

Do Revenge
Do Revenge
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There has not been a movie since Heathers that could really lay claim to being the meanest of them all when it comes to teen films. Mean Girls was a little softer; Booksmart too fundamentally nice; Blockers too parentally focused. Nonetheless, Do Revenge does hold a bit of the same anarchic spirit that made the rage discreet in the Winona Ryder classic while reworking it with Gen Z’s sensibility. Though a high school comedy that is sex positive, gender-inclusive and still as emotionally intemperate as ever.

The character playing our anti-heroine is Riverdale’s Camila Mendes who appears as Drea. She is the poor girl on scholarship who has climbed her way to the top rungs of social and academic life at her swanky private school. What’s wrong with her? Everything changes for her though when she makes some racy recordings for Max (Austin Abrams) that are eventually shared online. Due to this, Drea isn’t capable of taking direct measures on account of expulsion threatened by Principal (Sarah Michelle Gellar now in high school only five minutes ago). However Eleanor (Maya Hawke), confesses a secret about one more adversary also going to their institution and opens up the possibility for revenge against both girls.

And so there you have it: Strangers On A Train but with an obligatory makeover for slacker Eleanor and Drea masterminds one elaborate scheme after another, striking out at peripheral bullies like Sophie Turner’s Emily along the way. Mendes also manages to keep you mostly on-side even if Eleanor acts warily more hence putting sardonic distance between herself and others.

You know how this will go within about five minutes or less from when it starts, and you are right for quite some time. But director (and co-writer) Jennifer Kaytin Robinson has rather more to say than your average Netflix teen film – she’ll just swear a lot more while she does it. Scenes of her students at a private school in their glamorous surroundings, ludicrous pastel uniforms and hyper-inclusive gestures are punctuated by barbed remarks and surprising twists. Some of these revenge plots and their targets have agency too.

The result is about 60% more plot than you would expect from the movie, giving it extended runtime that might just be excessive for this genre probably making it difficult to find a perfect balance between broader comic moments and the more serious ones. However, this is generally fun. The characters played by Mendes and Hawke work together well, and Max portrayed by Abrams becomes terribly-wonderful — an awful embodiment of male feminist posturing. So come for the same old teen shenanigans but stay for some unexpected edge and Oscar Winner Olivia Colman with her lizard named Oscar Winner Olivia Colman as well.

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