Do Revenge

Do Revenge ★★★½

Quickie Review 
The long-awaited directorial follow-up to her sleeper hit Someone Great, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who also co-wrote this year’s Marvel blockbuster Thor: Love & Thunder, directs this Netflix original dark comedy about what happens when having revenge on the brain goes too far. Inspired by Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, the film sees Camila Mendes & Maya Hawke as Drea & Eleanor, two high school seniors whose lives are turned upside down when their school rejects and ostracizes them after a topless video of herself originally meant for her boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) is leaked around campus, bringing her big time shame, while a rumor involving Eleanor about her holding down a classmate (Ava Capri) and attempting to kiss her begins to spread around campus. The two form a friendship and agree to go after the people who did them wrong but in the midst of their campaign of vengeance, they’ll find themselves succumbing to the darkest parts of themselves and cause a lot of collateral damage in their wake. This is a very pro-smash-the-patriarchy type of revenge comedy with some shades of Heathers and even a little bit of Jawbreaker but this is very much the same Strangers on a Train story but in high school. The thing is that our protagonists, more specifically Drea, can teeter on the edge of unlikablity and can make it impossible to root for them that is, until, a pair of major twists that changes things and adds a bit of depth to them that has us rooting for them in the final act. Good thing as well because if that twist didn’t occur, this would be a disastrous watch. Besides the characters’ complicated nature to a point, the film also wraps up a little too formulaic and pulls back the darker shade of the comedic tone in lieu of something more brighter and cleaner and for me, it’s a matter of keeping the same energy while also wrapping up in a neat little bow. Still, I found the movie to be enjoyable, fun and funny with Mendes & Hawke making for a great team that powers the story along and benefits greatly from Robinson & co-writer Celeste Ballard’s script while the film also provides some great needle drops, mostly tracks from the heyday of ‘90s chick rock and a few modern pop hits as well. Do Revenge doesn’t do things perfectly but it does everything else just right enough, making for one of the better Netflix movie offerings in recent weeks or months.

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