Review Revenge – is the Stranger Things Netflix star’s movie any good?

Since its official launch in July, Take Revenge It was rightly one of the most anticipated Netflix movies of the year – and not just because of its ridiculously good cast, stacked with favorites from the biggest series.

The idea of ​​a mean girl and a social outcast teaming up in high school to take down those who wronged them is pretty tasty. It evoked memories of more stylish teen films of yesteryear such as Ignorant and Heathercombined with a Hitchcockian edge.

With Stranger Things the protagonist Maya Hawke and RiverdaleCamila Mendes in the lead roles, the signs were promising that we might be getting a classic teen movie to add to the pantheon of classics.

Unfortunately Take Revenge is an often fun and wild ride, it fails to give us one key thing to make it truly sing: a character to actually root for.

Camila Mendes and Maya Hake in do revenge

Netflix

Co-writer and director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson certainly doesn’t hold back with the gags at the expense of the characters who inhabit the Rosehill prep school where the action takes place.

In classic teen movie fashion, there are many cliques at school and Robinson particularly targets those at the top of the social agenda. Drea (Mendes) was part of Rosehill’s “royal court” along with her boyfriend Max (Euphoriaby Austin Abrams), but after an intimate video is leaked, her carefully managed status crumbles.

Once she teams up with Eleanor (Hawke) to take down Max, the film doesn’t hesitate to show just how awful Drea’s ex-boyfriends are. In one of the separate gags, Max sets up a new society at school after Drea’s video is leaked called the “Cis Hetero Men Championing Female-Identifying Students League”.

Nothing is particularly subtle in Take Revenge, including excellent costume design, but its rawness is part of the fun. Tweets are frequent in the dialogue, almost as much as the needle drops from Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and others, and you will absolutely see memes everywhere from the film.

maya hawke, alisha boe in do revenge

Netflix

It’s all expertly crafted to be a thrillingly entertaining teen film, highlighted by its perfect leads. Hawke can do awkward but cool underdogs in her sleep, as seen in Stranger Thingswhile Mendes is excellent as her defiant – potentially more adamant – partner in revenge.

As their scheme of assumed identities and hypocrisy unfolds, you’re right there with them and having just as much fun. The problem comes when you realize that they have, in fact, caught you and that they are potentially not as lovable as you first thought.

The protagonists don’t have to be likable for a film to succeed, of course, but Do Revenge feels like it’s trying to make you emotionally invest in them. Without going into spoilers, the twisting plot has revelations that affect the tone of the final act, and what should be moments of triumph end up feeling empty as a viewer.

Things end up wrapping up a little too cleanly, where there’s such a dark edge to everything else. The film would have been better off committing more to cynicism at the risk of leaving a bitter taste, but at least it would have been authentic to the world.

Talia Ryder, Maya Hawke in Revenge

Netflix

However, when you have a teen movie starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Principal in a genius piece of casting, you can’t end up being too crazy. There’s just so much elsewhere Take Revenge that his flatter final act stands out the most.

If you ever wanted to see Hitchcock Strangers on a train play with a group of teenage dogs, then Take Revenge provides exactly what you would like. It may not reach the classics of the teen movie genre, but it’s still plenty of dark fun.

Take Revenge is available to watch on Netflix from 8am. UK time (midnight PT) on September 16.

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