Saturday, January 16, 2016
BARELY LETHAL (2015)
Directed By: Kyle Newman
Written By: John D’Arco
Cinematography By: Peter Collister
Editor: Stephanie Corsalini Ligorner
Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, Dove Cameron, Rachael Harris, Finesse Mitchell, Thomas Mann, Rob Huebel, Dan Fogler, Steve-O
Megan Walsh has been training to be an international assassin for Hardman. However while she is on a mission, she notices how other teenagers her age seem to be having fun and enjoying their lives. Desiring a normal life, she bails out of a mission and enrolls in a student exchange program, in the process, being adopted by a foster family. She soon becomes a part of the high school and is subjected to the pressures and life of being in this environment.
Hard to tell who this film is really for, as it seems to silly for teens even though it looks I tended for them. Some of the language seems a bit too hard for kids. So it seems like the lead a bit awkward and on the precipice. Yet still not fully defined.
The film feels like a SPY KIDS movie sequel. Only now dealing with the teen years. Also not dealing with so much special effects. So it is not shocking that Jessica Alba has a co-starring role
Jessica Alba while not my favorite actress. She is a screen goddess. Who it is hard not to stare at and notice. She does command the screen with her looks and make you take notice. Though she is billed as a co-star it feels more like an extended cameo. As the film feels fuller when she is on screen. She seems lately in her career to have more of a confidence on screen. Her performances feel fuller and stronger. That might have to do with her successful business offscreen. So that acting now is more of a hobby and working only when she wants to. Though here she is having fun.
The film feels basic and it's jokes are lazy and never develops into anything deeper then the surface it shows. With throwaway jokes and some teenage hijinks with very little angst.
The film feels like an older version of the SPY KIDS films.
The film could have been something more of the material didn't feel familiar and tired. It also feels uninspired. I guess when it comes to a teenage spy/assassin storyline. HANNA is still the benchmark movie that works wonders with the premise. As this as well as a bunch of other films with teenage spy’s never seem to reach their full potential. (AGENT CODY BANKS, ALEX RIDER: OPERATION STORM BREAKER, SO UNDERCOVER, VIOLET & DAISY)
Many of the scenes humor, feels awkward and is exactly what you would expect from a teen film. Especially in scenes where adults try to relate to the teen characters. Especially the nice guys overprotective dad.
Haille Steinfeld I am glad to see working again in full capacity. Especially after seeing her in the earlier film from this year 10,000 saints where she was really good. I wish I could say she was as good here, but she doesn't have as strong material to play with.
Even for a teen movie the film feels lighthearted in design and material. Even the clothing and outfits don't feel as sharp.
The action is ok, what you would expect. There is a minor romance, luckily while it is deployed. Most of the film doesn't hinge on it. The film was originally rated R, but the filmmakers appealed without having to cut or edit any scenes.
Samuel L. Jackson co-stars which is becoming infuriating as you can never tell anymore if that is a good thing or bad. He gives his all, but he tends to give his all despite whether the project is good or bad. So sometimes you are lucky, if it doesn't make it initially to a theater though beware.
As I said before the film is confusing in who it is for. I just know i am not the key demographic for this film. So take my review with a grain of salt. I can see this film being enjoyed by a younger audience. I am not totally cold hearted to it’s charms. It's not boring and manages to keep interests In it. Overall it is cute and harmless.
It is just nothing you haven't seen before and probably done better in other films. Here it hair seems ok. Low energy, uninspired a bit lazy but generally ok.