Stream or skip? Netflix’s latest dark comedy has a twist you won’t see coming.
Vengeance Never Tasted Sweeter than in “Do Revenge”
Netflix’s latest dark comedy “Do Revenge” is a high school flick that’s actually interesting to watch. With plenty of twists and turns and complicated protagonists, this film will leave viewers shocked and satisfied by the end.
Loosely based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 film “Strangers on a Train,” “Do Revenge” was released Sept. 16. The film is directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and includes a stacked cast — including the likes of Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”), Maya Hawke (“Stranger Things”), Austin Abrams (“Euphoria”) and Sophie Turner (“Game of Thrones”).
The movie follows two unlikely companions: Rosehill High School’s fallen queen bee Drea played by Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke’s awkward new girl Eleanor. The duo teams up to exact revenge on their respective wrongdoers. Drea wants her ex-boyfriend Max, played by Austin Abrams, to pay for leaking a sex tape she made for him. Eleanor wants to get back at her former best friend for making up false rumors and outing her as gay.
The film is extremely campy and over-the-top, taking clear inspiration from iconic teen flicks of the late ‘90s and early 2000s — think “Mean Girls” or “Clueless.”
The movie is purposefully outrageous. Rosehill High School is practically an amalgamation of a British prep school, Beverly Hills High School and a country club.
In light of the ridiculous plot, the costuming is perfection. The entire cast is dressed in bright pastel school uniforms with plaid skirts, matching ties and berets ranging from lavender to emerald to bubblegum pink. Costume designer Alana Morshead sought obvious inspiration from Cher and Dionne of “Clueless.”
Despite it’s innocent costuming, at its core, the film deals with serious subject matter: Drea and Eleanor both deal with the repercussions of sexual assault. A false accusation against Eleanor from years ago still impacts her daily life, while Max’s betrayal completely stunts Drea’s social life at Rosehill.
“Do Revenge” does a notable job of balancing heavy issues while preserving the film as a campy, glitzy dark comedy.
Mendes and Hawke are fantastic in their roles, as far as their onscreen chemistry goes. However, both of them felt a little too familiar. Drea was reminiscent of Mendes’ character Veronica Lodge in “Riverdale” and Hawke tends to play the exact same character in everything she’s in; Eleanor is basically just an unhinged Robin from “Stranger Things.”
In contrast, Abrams is making a name for himself as an incredibly versatile actor. He played a brooding Dash in “Dash and Lily” and a sweet Ethan in “Euphoria”. In “Do Revenge,” however, we see Abrams as the antagonist.
Max isn’t the typical jock-bully seen in most teen comedies. Abram’s character is slimy — the audience loves to hate him. He’s all too familiar: the cliche “woke” guy who pretends to be a standup fella but is a hypocrite at his core.
The film is likely to have viewers reflecting back to those times when the self-proclaimed feminist starts to mansplain everything.
From switching out normal mushrooms to psychedelics for a school-sponsored benefit dinner to planting hard drugs on Drea’s hilariously foul-mouthed nemesis Erica, played by Sophie Turner, Drea and Eleanor’s antics in the film are absolutely outrageous.
“Do Revenge” keeps the audience on their toes with a major plot twist and an incredibly satisfying ending full of vengeance. If you’re looking for an alternative to Netflix’s unbearably cheesy, boring teen flicks continuously being pumped out, this film is delightfully refreshing.
“Do Revenge” can be streamed on Netflix.
Featured image courtesy of Netflix