Review: "Do Revenge"
This dark comedy falls into a new class of teen films that ironically take on the teen film genre, a meta exercise that almost goes too far but has some entertaining aspects and a talented cast.
Looking like a carbon copy of her mother (Uma Thurman), Maya Hawke stands out among a well-selected group of attractive young actors in Do Revenge. She's believable in her character's various iterations -- awkward outcast, psychotic social climber, vulnerable friend, and lesbian wannabe lover. Likewise for the smarmy Abrams and narcissist Mendes.
But no single character comes across as true or even likable, except maybe Talia Ryder as the straight-talking lesbian younger sister. That's because the actors are asked to play out a script purporting wildly excessive behavior among 17- and 18-year-olds, not to mention cynical advising from the sole adult (the headmistress, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar).
Of course, it's all purposefully exaggerated, like their exclusive academy's hilarious pastel school uniforms (capes, berets, and bowties, oh my!), but the embellishments undercut attempts at eking out true emotion from the characters or hitting the mark with political subtexts about gender inequality and class injustice.
In short, it's hard to take any of this seriously or care very deeply, but it's equally hard to deny some fun -- guilty perhaps -- is had in the process.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Netflix.