Assassination of a High School President
February 27, 2009
Movie of the Day for Friday, February 13, 2009
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They always say to "write what you know". With a lot of brash young filmmakers hitting the scene who probably weren't part of the popular crowd back in their high school days, it's not surprising that high school gets to be the metaphor du jour for just about anything these days, or the setting to revisit an old genre.
That's the theory behind The Assassination of a High School President, which melds Raymond Chandler era noir with the goings-on at a Catholic prep school and throws a comic spin on it. You may think we've already had that, with 2005's Brick, and you'd basically be right, but hey, this one stars someone from the O.C.!
The plot revolves around a test cheating scandal, with Rocket Science's Reece Thompson making the popular jock pay for his crimes, but discovering that corruption and conspiracies in his school go much deeper than that. The jock's girlfriend, the femme fatale of this story (Mischa Barton - probable weapon: lethally bad acting) leads him into a deeper world that could indict the entire school, including the possibly insane principal, played here by a scenery-chewing Bruce Willis.
This film played to mild raves at the SXSW film festival earlier this year, but then they go for quirk there. The idea of teenagers playing out The Big Sleep does have its charm in theory, but those things rarely work in practice. That the gold standard for these kind of films is Cruel Intentions probably says a lot, I'd think. (Reagen Sulewski/BOP)