Taking inspiration from the likes of Strangers on a Train and Clueless, Do Revenge is Netflix’s take on the Mean Girls style teen movie. While it might not be quite as good as its inspiration, this Gen Z adaptation is surprisingly a lot of fun.
Directed by Thor: Love and Thunder writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the film opens on Drea Torres (Camila Mendes), a student on a scholarship at a prestigious school Rosehill who has managed to become friends with the rich, popular crowd. However after her boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) anonymously releases an intimate video of her, Drea becomes a social outcast. Working at a tennis camp over the summer, Drea meets Eleanor (Maya Hawke) who is due to transfer to Rosehill. After hearing about Drea’s troubles, Eleanor shares her own story about becoming an outcast when she was outed by another student at Rosehill, Carissa (Ava Capri), years earlier.
The pair want revenge and soon realise they can’t do this themselves for fear of recrimination, so they devise a plan to exact revenge on the other’s rival. To get revenge on Max, Drea gives Eleanor a makeover so she can infiltrate her old clique. Meanwhile, Drea volunteers for community service on the school farm to get close to Carissa and also befriends fellow volunteer Russ (Rish Shah).
The pair quickly begin to gather evidence against each other’s rivals to help them enact their revenge. However, after concentrating so much on their revenge, Drea neglects her studies and is informed by the school headmaster (Sarah Michelle Gellar) that her place at Yale is in jeopardy. And while their revenge plots go ahead as planned, the results are less than satisfactory and Drea and Eleanor’s alliance begins to splinter.
Do Revenge might not be the most original of films but it was certainly a lot more fun than I had been expecting. From the gorgeous aesthetics of the costumes and those ridiculously stunning pastel-coloured school uniforms to the whip-sharp script, this is a genuinely fun and entertaining film. It’s helped as despite their flaws, Drea and Eleanor are very engaging and interesting lead characters and Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke play them perfectly. They really run with the clever script and while I wouldn’t say it was particularly funny overall, there are some laugh-out-loud quips and retorts that are quite brilliant.
I enjoyed seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar back as the headmaster, although the star of the show had to be Oscar Winner Olivia Colman, also known as Eleanor’s pet lizard who even appears in the film’s credits. It also has a cracking soundtrack which is entirely fitting and exactly what you’d expect from a teen movie.
The problem however is that despite the performances of the cast and how fun this film is, I found the story to be a little predictable. I clocked the potential twist early on, promptly forgot about it as the plot appeared to be moving away from it and then was disappointed when this turned out to be the story after all. I’m probably being too fussy as this twist did at least make a standard revenge film more interesting, but I feel like they could’ve done more with this, especially after the twist was revealed.
Do Revenge is undoubtedly a fun and sharp teen movie with great performances from all involved, even if it isn’t as memorable as the classics that have influenced it.
A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!