Drea Torres (Camila Mendes) was aghast when her boyfriend Max Broussard (Austin Abrams) leaked a sex video of hers on the internet, which ruined her reputation and put her dream of going into Yale in danger. One day, Drea met Eleanor Levetan (Maya Hawke), who was shunned by her schoolmates because she was outed as a predator lesbian in summer camp. The two connive together to exact revenge on each others' enemies.
This film had all the "high school mean girls" tropes in teen films like "Heathers," "Cruel Intentions," "Clueless" and yes, "Mean Girls" -- but updated for today's social media generation. The mean streaks in Drea and Eleanor's revenge plans were so ruthless, it was not easy to be on their side the whole time. However, the story took some nifty twists in the third act just when you thought it was going the typical way.
Overall, a fun watch, especially with some surprise guest stars, like Sophie Turner as nasty gossip girl Erica, and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Headmaster of Rosehill.
END OF THE ROAD
Single mom Brenda (Queen Latifah) was taking her two kids out of LA to move to Houston following some financial constraints. Her slacker brother Reggie (Chris Bridges a.k.a. rapper Ludacris) went along for the big move. When they stayed overnight at a roadside motel, there was someone shot to death in the room beside them. They then become targets of a drug lord code-named Mr. Cross when a bag of his money wound up with them.
Queen Latifah does heavy duty lifting to keep this familiar scenario of a black family caught up in white folk country and getting involved with white criminal elements. However, the director went too far when Brenda was able to take on an entire tribe of violent rednecks with her hands tied.
Ludacris's role was written very badly, you will get very annoyed with his Reggie. Beau Bridges does well as the helpful sheriff Hammers, who also had some surprises of his own along the way.
Just before the 1988 Olympics, a group of car-buff friends with shady pasts, led by their cocky driver Dong-wook (Yoo Ah-in) were conscripted by a government agent Mr. Ahn (Oh Jung-se) to be mules inside a major money laundering syndicate led by crime boss Kang In-sook (Moon So-ri). If they were able to obtain evidence to convict the perpetrators, their criminal records will be wiped clean and they would be given visas to migrate to the US.
The car-racing action is "Fast and Furious"-lite at best, but the whole thing was still fun nevertheless because of the bravado and craziness of the young guys. There was a lot of 80s references that Gen X'ers will enjoy, like then new fastfood craze McDonalds or illin' Run-DMC rap songs. Having Go Kyung-pyo as one of Dong-wook's gang brought back memories of the sentimental drama series "Reply 1988" which was also set around the same time as this film.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."