Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Writers: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and Celeste Ballard
Starring: Camila Mendes, Maya Hawke, Rish Shah, Austin Abrams, Sophie Turner, and Sarah Michelle Gellar
Do Revenge is an enjoyable new take on the premise from Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. Camila Mendes stars as Drea Torres, who goes to an elite high school and has her life ruined when a nude video of her circulates the school. Suspecting that her boyfriend, Max (Austin Abrams) is the one who leaked it, Drea teams up with her new friend Eleanor (Maya Hawke) to get revenge. In return Drea will help Eleanor to get revenge herself on another student who spread a nasty rumour about her years before.
For the most part you kind of know where things are going. Drea and Eleanor both set forth to get revenge for each other, making friends with the other’s enemies in order to do so. Along the way they learn about themselves, as well as the people they are plotting against. Things around them start to get messy, with people not reacting the way they thought they would, but they adapt.
The characters are all bad people, completely self-obsessed with what they want and not caring about others. They don’t even notice how their actions are affecting others. Even Eleanor, who seems like the nicest of the bunch, doesn’t seem to really care about who she’s hurting as long as she gets revenge. Despite this, they’re still likable characters, even though for the most part you don’t really know who to root for.
Just when you think you have this film figured out, and have settled in for the ride, it rolls out one hell of a twist. There’s almost no warning when it happens, but it makes complete sense once it’s revealed. The clues are there, but it’s really well done. It’s one of those twists that jolts the film and gives it a new life, and it arrives just in time, as the film starts to feel like it’s going on a little too long. Up until that point it’s all enjoyable, but it’s nothing special.
This is something that would fit in really well in that late 90s early 2000s era of high school films. It’s a mix of all of those classic films, from Cruel Intentions to 10 Things I Hate About You. It’s a nice throwback kind of film. It’s also really fitting that Sarah Michelle Gellar is the headmaster at the school where it’s set.
Overall, this film is a nice surprise. It has a killer twist, a great cast, and a fair few laughs. It’s not re-inventing the wheel, but it’s a really solid film and worth checking out if you have a Netflix subscription and some free time.
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