The teen movie is back in its truest form, and we couldn’t ask for a better re-entry to the genre.
Do Revenge, released on Netflix on Friday, September 16th, is a true return to form for the genre; a larger than life cast, beautiful people, a headmistress played by one a nostalgic favourite, and petty drama left to fester and shrivel until all that's left for these fictional teens with too little homework to do, is to get revenge.
The film is abjectly hilarious, capturing the twang of the Gen Z lexicon with a skill that few other writers have managed - it’s true to life, humorous, but never feels like it’s parodying youth culture, just playfully ribbing aspects that the youth themselves would be hard pushed not to also find ridiculous.
Camilla Mendes and Maya Hawke play a wondrous double act - their chemistry is off the charts, comedically and dramatically. Hawke returns to her newly established wheelhouse with skill, playing an adorkable teen sapphic with a secret, with a new suave edge. Mendes is in a similar boat, with those who are familiar with her time in Riverdale surely recognising her strengths as a tour de force of personality, but with a new playful tinge to her Queen Bee standard.
The plot itself, without giving too much away, is remarkably perfect for a modern teen audience. Do Revenge is a Strangers On A Train meets Cruel Intentions meets Clueless modge podge of homage and reference, with just enough modernity added to make the rest gleam like it's something brand new. The twist, which many are already lauding on social media for its skill in both setup and execution, lives up to the hype. The narrative clicks into place perfectly, leaving just the one question; if given the opportunity, how many teenage girls would go this far off the deep end to get revenge? (The answer is definitely more than you’d like to think)
The casting for the film is also excellent - not one actor feels out of place in the setting, and the cast was clearly constructed with chemistry in mind. All of the relationships, both positive and negative, feel incredibly real. Each character slots into place perfectly in the ecosystem of the film.
Even the cameos, clearly cast in part for their name, make perfect sense. Sarah Michelle Gellar in particular, returning to the setting of a wealthy-beyond-belief private school, feels like a perfect fit. In terms of acting skill, she plays the role of matriarch exceptionally well, but the role also makes immense sense from a meta-narrative perspective, with her having played the lead in one of the films clear inspirations, Cruel Intentions.
All in all, Do Revenge makes up the perfect modern teen film; the dialogue lacks cringe, the acting is top tier, the plot is wonderfully paced and truly enticing, and the soundtrack absolutely slaps.
It’s on Netflix now, do yourself a favour and watch it.