With all of Netflix’s recent comedy releases being less than subpar, I didn’t exactly have my hopes up for this new comedy, Do Revenge. But I guess that’s why surprises are always nice because I ended up enjoying this movie a lot more than I had anticipated. Starring pop culture favourites, Camila Mendes from Riverdale (2017) as Drea and Maya Hawke from Stranger Things (2016) as Eleanor, the two create an unlikely friendship born out of anger and vengeance. Filled with all the cattiness and edginess of teenage drama, Do Revenge is successfully reminiscent of high school movie classics like Easy A (2010) and Mean Girls (2004). While the basis of the movie isn’t exactly original, it still manages to feel distinctive enough to stand on its own.
[Please note this review contains spoilers; read at your own discretion]
The beginning of the movie does start off a little slow, but that’s only because it’s setting up all the pieces for the chaos that’s about to ensue. As we’re introduced to the main characters who are revealed to be snobby socialites, their pretentious lifestyles come off as painfully obnoxious. It’s all about the glitz and the glamour and Do Revenge makes it obvious that status and reputation is what gets you a ticket with the in crowd. Max and his group of lackeys are perfect examples of how to be rich and ignorant. So what happens when your extremely private and intimate video gets leaked by your boyfriend who also happens to be the school’s Golden Boy? Well, that’s when this movie starts getting interesting.
Look, I swear all high school girls aren’t this psychopathic, but then again, it’s been a while since I’ve actually been in high school so who knows? All jokes aside, the movie thrives under Drea and Eleanor’s dynamic partnership. Both having faced ridicule and exile, the two become sneaky schemers in hopes of taking down their enemies. Teaming up to do each other’s revenge, it sure becomes an eventful ride as they commit some pretty horrible deeds. There were many times I couldn’t help but think, “well, this is going a little too far”.
Mendes and Hawke have a real natural connection that made their performances both believable and entertaining. We’re not exactly rooting for them (they’re far from being saints), but the movie does do a good job at keeping us interested in whether or not they’ll be able to succeed. The plot is surprisingly engaging and it’s made even better by the sudden plot twist near the end. When we learn Eleanor has been secretly pulling the strings the whole time, you’ll begin to wonder how much of this movie is even real when so much of it is fake.
And that’s kind of the whole message behind this movie: how far will we go just to fit in? Although exaggerated, the movie does an excellent job at showing the social repercussions of being an outcast. Rumours are never truly as innocent as they seem and can have serious damage on a person’s reputation. Especially with social media being so prominent nowadays, word travels quickly and far. If anything, the underlying moral of the story here is to always think twice about what you’re posting online – you never know who might see it or what they might do with it. While I could see a few minor attempts at reaching a deeper look into mental health issues, Do Revenge mostly skims past it. The movie is entirely focused on the drama and the mayhem.
It’s certainly what made this movie an engaging watch anyway, all the scheming and the retaliation. Once things got rolling, I never knew what to expect. Things that should’ve worked didn’t, and things that shouldn’t have worked did. There’s a lot of twists and turns but that’s what made this a decently fun watch. The whole thing is just a massive messy mix of manipulation (alliteration anyone?!) but I kind of loved it. It’s high school drama but dialed up to 1000. One thing I didn’t like was how light the consequences were despite how drastic everyone’s actions were. The movie definitely wasn’t strict with their punishments, but at least it did somewhat show that revenge is never the answer. Always take the high road, kids.
If there’s one big thing to complain about, I’d say it’s probably that the ending wasn’t as well executed as I would’ve liked. It felt too rushed and it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I wanted to be. It ended up feeling like the whole movie was building up towards some epic conclusion, but it was over in like five minutes. I just hate it when resolutions magically happen; why did I sit through an hour of watching them fight when they managed to make up within a minute? With such a huge revelation about Eleanor’s history with Drea shared that should’ve tore their relationship to bits, it was weird seeing how easily it was mended by the “power of friendship”.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by Netflix’s newest comedy, Do Revenge. If you’re feeling a bit immature and you’re up for some catty drama, this one will definitely check all the boxes. Since it is a movie about high school students, yes, the language can be cheesy and cliché, but that just comes with the genre. I always love a good high school comedy though, so I had no problem getting the vibe of this one. After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to give Do Revenge a 7/10. Despite some plot issues and an overall lacking conclusion, the movie proves to be entertaining and lively. It’s a good movie to watch with friends, especially on a Friday night. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Sophie Turner’s scenes in this movie – although it’s a quick cameo, she’s absolutely hysterical.
Really looking forward to seeing this. Any cast with Mendes, Hawke, Turner…and “Buffy” should be worth a view.
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