Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Lucky Ones Were Just Shot... Girls Against Boys Reviewed

Shae (Danielle Panabaker) is a student involved with an older man, but he just keeps letting her down. On the night they are due to go away for the weekend Terry (Andrew Howard) comes around and breaks off their relationship. Distraught Shau heads off to a club where she meets Lu (Nicole LaLiberte) who cheerify offers to kill Terry to make things better. The two girls strike up an instant friendship, and party the whole night. But when a boy she meets viciously rapes Shae, she turns to Lu for help. The lucky ones just got shot!

Girls Against Boys is one in a long line of female led revenge thrillers in which the woman in question takes violent revenge against those that have wronged her. In fairness Girls Against Boys brings absolutely nothing new to the table other than Lu’s increasingly deranged state. In it’s defense however its saved by the fact that unless you look at the odd exception (I Spit On Your Grave), this particular genre has been pretty much left alone for the last twenty years, so while to an older audience its nothing new, to a younger one it’s something very dark.

It’s not just a female led team on the screen, but it’s a heavily led female offering off-screen, which is fairly unusual for this type of movie. While the writer/director Austin Chick is very much a man, a lot of his crew are female and this plays out with a touch of style in how the film looks visually.  Kathryn Westergaard’s cinematography is a thing of absolute beauty, every seen is so perfectly framed, so beautifully captured.

Combine the visuals with Nathan Larson’s outstanding score, and you have a clear image of perfection. Larson has taken a very 80’s approach to a horror/thriller score, using repetition and mixing it with a modern spin to create a score you will clearly remember long after the credits at the end have rolled.  In stark contrast are a number of classic 60’s and 70’s musical numbers including The Herdy Gerdy man which gives the movie a nice final twinge of excellence.

Flaws are of course present, Lu’s slide into the dark just get’s too far “out there” especially towards the end. Shae’s willingness to assist Lu in the killing is just not quite given enough conviction to be plausible. And the impact of death is just not provided with enough emphasis.

There is a lot of feminist crap written about the movie, a film can never be a film for the sake of it, people always have to see a gender or political point behind almost anything. It seems the feminist angle is being thrown out there by men with clear issues against women. Girls Against Boys is what it is, it’s a revenge thriller that is made more disturbing because it’s the women doing the killing, and understandably so, it simply would not have the same impact if it was a male perpetrator.

Girls Against Boys is on general release in the US, with a DVD and Blu-ray release looking likely for the UK come the mid to late summer. 

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