The obvious inspiration on this second movie from director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Netflix’s “Somebody Nice”) could be Alfred Hitchcock’s oft-copied “Strangers on a Practice,” as a pair of high-school college students meet, notice they’ve simmering grudges towards completely different folks and focus on the prospect of teaming as much as take revenge towards them.
But the plot (based mostly on a script by Robinson and Celeste Ballard) does not pursue that engaging prospect with a lot conviction, which could clarify why it runs out of steam down the stretch. The film additionally owes money owed to lots of different teen fare, comparable to “Merciless Intentions,” itself an adaptation of the French novel that grew to become “Harmful Liaisons.”
Describing themselves as “two wounded troopers on the battlefield of adolescence,” Mendes’ Drea is the queen bee on the high of the social strata, regardless of being a scholarship scholar on this realm of wealth and privilege. She directs her anger at dreamy ex-boyfriend Max (Abrams), who leaked an express tape of her, whereas Hawke’s Eleanor has nursed an previous grudge towards a woman who leveled a false accusation towards her in the middle of outing her.
“On this story nothing is at appears,” Drea warns in voiceover close to the outset, which ought to be a tipoff of twists to come back, as she and Eleanor take turns serving as narrator, which works till, towards the top, it does not.
Granted, the casting in all probability represents half the battle, and Mendes and Hawke have a strong showcase, if one that does not depart a lot from their sequence personas.
Then once more, “Do Revenge” is not about stretching conventions however somewhat merely discovering one other wrinkle on what has turn into a longtime system. It does that, however for a film the place the characters converse usually about their Ivy League aspirations, creatively talking it lands extra within the safety-school class.
“Do Revenge” premieres September 16 on Netflix.