Friday, April 28, 2017

D.E.B.S. (2004)



Written, Edited & Directed By: Angela Robinson 
Cinematography By: M. David Mullen 


Cast: Sara Foster, Jordana Brewster, Meagan Goode, Devon Aoki, Jill Ritchie, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Holland Taylor, Jessica Caulffiel, Geoff Stults, Scoot McNairy, Jenny Mollen, Aimee Garcia, Jennifer Carpenter 


Plaid-skirted schoolgirls are groomed by a secret government agency to become the newest members of the elite national-defense group, D.E.B.S.


What can I say about this movie? It's just your typical late teen romantic comedy action film of the year involving lesbian romance. Which truly is the only noteworthy aspect of this movie.

The story seems like it would be more welcome in an Adult porn film. Though the film tries to be comedic it also has a bunch of material that seems more here to excite and feels explotiive but the film seems to backtrack and have no teeth. So that it plays more for teens and never comes close to the type of material they expect. That makes the film ultimately feel like a cop-out.

This is confusing, as it is a film that shows girls being bad ass and kick ass. While also being a lesbian love story. So it provides representation in the action genre also. Though the marketing also seems a little exploitive as the girls wear school girl outfits. Noticeably shorter and leaving certain Areas more closed. So that they are constantly sexy. Which works if the film used that idea. So that their outfits lead them to be more distracting so they can get their missions done. Unfortunately the film doesn't go for subtle satire such as that.

Instead it uses common jokes. Making the comedy very weak. At least the film gives the women diversity. Even if that diversity leads most of characters to be one dimensional and some barely believable in that role they are given to play. It also has the least exciting action scenes and sequences.

The story is about a group of teenage girls who are recruited to be spies. One of them ends up falling in love with a terrorist who is a lesbian, who gives her the strength to come out. But must keep the romance a secret as the terrorist begins to court her.

The film might have made a better made for cable TV-movie. As it has more a sitcomish humor. And that is how the film feels. The sets, the jokes and the acting all seem corny and inauthentic. The only cast member who comes of well and is worth noting is Jordana Brewster, who gives her role her all with plenty of spunk and comes off as very charming.

The lead Sara Foster, She is nice to look at, but brings no depth or charisma. She just seems wide eyed and calm. Yet her character is supposed to be a natural born leader. Who everyone else admired.

Then again you are probably not watching this film for that. You are watching it most likely to see young junior Ladies in action. Well they do get into a lot of fights. More choreographed hand to hand action type. As well as some action sequences that are pretty underwhelming. Though there is also some romantic scenes as well as a pretty clean and not too explicit love scene. At least the film has a women empowerment message. That compared to what the film has to offer comes off rather weakly.

What is disappointing is that the film seems to seek to be renegade and subversive, but ends up coming off as weak and below basic. Only because like the lead character. It tries to play a role that is not in it’s natural character. So while the film goes in many different directions none of them feel completely right. At least the romance scenes come off as somewhat familiar but fun. Watching it form a different aspect.

The film is never silly enough to be a stupid comedy and yet it wants us to laugh and seem like a romantic comedy set up in a teen spy ring world. That seems like it would fit more for a 90’s teen film going straight to home video, add in a lesbian relationship and it makes it more controversial for it’s time, but the film seems to want to push buttons but also land a more ratings and audience friendly pg-13 label. Which makes the film seem like it is always limiting itself. Which leaves the audience never feeling comfortable with the film either. As it tries to figure out it’s own identity. Some could say that as the character tries to define itself the movie runs parallel.

I wish the film was more entertaining. If you really want to check it out. Don't rush you can wait for cable. though it's not a good film it has it's charms that overcome it's problems once in awhile.

The film has some interesting ideas while putting on an exploitive demeanor at first. It's not that gratuitous playing more lien a teen movie that is empowering for girls.

The action scenes are weak and leave a lot to be desired.

The cast looks way too old for their roles which is confusing as well as the sort of universe this film exists in which seems to try to be comic book based only with a low budget.

Each character has a stereotype that hat later is subverted to show another side of them really to the surprise of the audience and characters.

The film tries to our an action spin on the romantic comedy as well as a coming out film with it's lesbian love story also.

Jordana Brewster gives an energetic charismatic performance as the villain and seducer of the hero. Like a live action cat woman who wields more nuclear power. She is a seductive femme fatale of the film and brings a natural sense of humor to her character and the film. I only wish she worked more in films and in better ones.

This film really should have reached it's full potential with a larger budget


Grade: D

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