This is one of those films I sat down to expecting something completely different than what played out before my eyes. I expected a film that didn’t take itself too seriously, but instead found myself tangled in a film that seems to take itself quite seriously for the most part, the only issue is I’m not so sure it was the wisest direction to take for this kind of film. So strap in and get ready to see some gender based revenge, just be warned it might not be what you expect, and it takes a good while to get to an interesting point. Continue on after the jump for the full review.
‘Girls Against Boys’ was written and directed by Austin Chick (August, XX/XY) who is a filmmaker I must admit I am not familiar with, so unfortunately I can’t compare this in any way to his previous films, nor give any input on his progression of a filmmaker (or lack thereof). The film stars Danielle Panabaker in the leading role along with Nicole LaLiberte in what I would consider to be the secondary lead. The film focuses on two bartenders who after being pushed to the breaking point decide to get even with the men that have mistreated them, and in the most brutal fashion possible. While the title may lead you to think this film will be a cooky all out good time battle of the sexes, it’s actually more a flat out revenge flick about two extremely pissed off women who decide to get even with the men that have caused them to suffer.
The film starts out quite slow, in fact the buildup occupies the majority of the first half of the film, and things don’t really start to get interesting until right around the half way point. Now the biggest issue I had with this film is the lack of believability. First off let me say that I have no issue with unbelievable films in the sense of Science Fiction and Horror, but I do take issue with films that try to solely focus on human emotions and the resulting effects of those emotions, and then not make that scenario believable to the viewer. When dealing with such a realistic subject matter I think one must take a more realistic approach in order to maintain the films integrity and overall effect. While maintaining this realistic approach there are moments I found myself cracking up, though I’m still not certain if these moments were intended to be humorous or simply done in a fashion in which I misunderstood the intended affect. The actions these girls take, and the extremes at which they take them to are just hard to buy. Worst of all is the justification they use in order to bring themselves to these actions. Things finally wrap up with a very boggling wrap up sequence that had me shaking my head and more than just a trifle confused. Then the film dives into one final end sequence with the very typical ‘is it done, or is it’ gimmick we’ve seen a million times and sets up a possibility of a continuing storyline which basically erases the small semblance of logic that was maintained in the prior wrap up sequence. The credits roll and I couldn’t help but think how everything that occurred had been contradicted leaving me muttering to myself ‘umm..ok..’ as the credits rolled.
I will admit this is not a horrible film, it does have it’s moments. Some of what is portrayed is accomplished in a surprisingly tastefull way and evem with a glimmer of class at times. While I have certainly seen many films that are far worse in recent memory, it is indeed a very flawed film in many ways, and in my opinion the tone in which it was taken is what truly affects it the most. The gore is very minimal, focusing mainly on peoples reactions during graphic events as opposed to showing them occur. While I feel that is truly an admirable way to do things, and often more affective, it just simply felt like a letdown after waiting so long for things to get going it and it simply felt disappointing to not be treated to some gory fun in the last half after all of the buildup. This is not a film I would push anyone away from watching by any means, but it would certainly not be in my list of films to recommend to friends either.
‘Girls Against Boys’ will hit limited theaters on February 1 and will then make it’s debut on DVD & Bluray February 26 via Anchor Bay Films.