Sarah Michelle Gellar and Camila Mendes additionally star in a candy-coated “Gossip Woman” riff that is main enjoyable regardless of its try-hard feminism.
Regardless of stories of Gen-Z’s progressive politics, it seems hyper-awareness round sexuality, consent, and poisonous masculinity have solely made highschool reputation contests extra refined. That’s, if we’re to take the outlandish feminist satire operating by Netflix’s darkish teen comedy “Do Revenge” at face worth, anyway. If two-faced males’s rights teams and psychedelic mushroom stings appear somewhat ridiculous, it’s all a part of the sickly enjoyable and video games of “Do Revenge,” a quippy romp by the steely crafty of that universally feared group: teenage ladies.
Starring Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”) and Maya Hawke (“Stranger Issues”) as two unlikely allies in a battle for teen justice, “Do Revenge” is a humorous feminist tackle the mainstream highschool comedy. Touching frivolously on class consciousness and queer politics, the ladies are firmly accountable for this candy-coated world — although just one can come out on prime. As their Machiavellian quest for revenge results in some unlikely revelations, the self-righteous anti-heroines show that boys aren’t the one poisonous ones.
Mendes performs Drea, an it-girl on scholarship who falls from grace when her boyfriend “by accident” leaks a intercourse tape. Satisfied Max (Austin Abrams) is mendacity to avoid wasting face, she assaults the golden boy in entrance of the entire college, immediately getting labeled as an abuser. Drea’s wealthy pals shut ranks after they notice how a lot energy Max wields (his father is a serious political donor). “It was a basic Icarus story,” she says in her storybook voiceover. “I flew too near the solar and my boyfriend leaked my intercourse tape.”
When the fabulous headmistress (performed by timeless it-girl Sarah Michelle Gellar) places her on behavioral probation, she’s compelled to work on the tony personal college’s natural backyard. It’s there she meets wallflower Ellie (Hawke), a kooky switch pupil with a hidden previous. Driving Drea house in her classic convertible, Ellie reveals a classmate is her childhood bully, who not solely outed her at summer time camp, however unfold a rumor that Ellie compelled a kiss on her. Recognizing a kindred maligned spirit, Drea hatches a plan for them each to get even; they’ll keep away from suspicion by “doing” one another’s revenge.
Quickly, Drea is giving Ellie a “She’s All That” fashion makeover, styling her to the nines and providing tips about the way to catch Max’s consideration. “Your new vibe is excessive standing cunt,” she instructs. “I’m Frankenstein, and also you’re Frankenstein’s dangerous bitch.” The plan is to infiltrate Max’s pal group with the intention to humiliate them and show as soon as and for all that the founding father of the “Cis Hetero Males Championing Ladies Figuring out College students League” is stuffed with shit. (One of many funnier asides is certainly one of Max’s cronies cheering: “Let’s give it up for respecting girls!”)
The script is stuffed with pithy one-liners that maintain the considerably overstuffed motion buoyant; it’s simple to forgive extraneous characters and free ends whenever you’re being bombarded with intelligent quips. “Do Revenge” was directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who wrote the script with Celeste Ballard. The 2 collaborated on the 2016 MTV comedy “Candy/Vicious,” a university rape revenge comedy that predated “Promising Younger Lady” by a number of years. Regardless of overwhelmingly optimistic opinions, the present was cancelled by MTV after one season. It’s good to see Robinson and Ballard get one other shot on the vigilante style in “Do Revenge,” although they’ve traded violence for extra psychological tortures.
Visually, the film appears like a TV present, as so many mid-budget Netflix motion pictures do. The garish college uniforms encompass sea foam inexperienced capes and purple berets, as if the children of “Intercourse Training” obtained misplaced in Beverly Hills by the use of Candyland. It additionally appears like a TV present compressed into two hours, although that’s not a foul tactic for charming younger viewers. Nonetheless, somewhat trimming wouldn’t have harm, particularly with every lady getting parallel romantic b-plots. The standout performances from Hawke and Mendes ought to draw their TV followers to check out an excellent old school film for a change.
The soundtrack presents many pleasant needle drops, and it’s no shock to be taught it was designed by Este Haim with Amanda Yamate. Musical easter eggs for the “Clueless” era abound, with Mighty Mighty Bosstones and classic Robyn throwbacks buzzing alongside hip modern fare like Olivia Rodrigo and MUNA.
If there’s a message in all of the insanity, it doesn’t precisely encourage hope for feminine solidarity. Which may be a extra lifelike worldview that doesn’t see ladies as being totally different than anybody else, although it’s definitely a cynical tackle all of humanity. Nonetheless, the juicy teen drama of “Do Revenge” is a up to date riff on an age-old basic. It’s nothing if not of the second, and in the mean time, youngsters are studying the identical panic-inducing headlines as everybody else. In the event that they wish to do some revenge on a world that appears hell bent on driving humanity off a cliff, “Do Revenge” presents some intelligent leisure for the journey.
“Do Revenge” is now streaming on Netflix.