Monday, March 11, 2013

Girls Aganist Boys (2013)

**This review contains spoilers**

Shae (Danielle Panabaker) is a college student and a part-time bartender, who’s having some bad luck with men. After making the decision to return to his wife and a young daughter, Shae’s boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her. And a one night stand takes a horrible turn for the worst, when Shae is raped by Simon (Michael Stahl-David). Shae fights off another attempted rape, and after an unsuccessful trip to the police station, Shae decides to team up with her new friend/co-worker.

LuLu or “Lu” (Nicole LaLiberte) has a deep hatred for men, and Lu influences Shae to go on a killing spree of revenge. Shae develops a taste for blood, but Shae refuses to kill one of her targets, so Lu pulls the trigger instead. Lu is still determined to punish men, but Shae is looking for a way out of her new life. Will Lu allow Shae to walk away?

Danielle Panabaker is still one of my favorite young actresses, but she’s upstaged by Nicole LaLiberte here. LaLiberte’s devilish and joyful portrayal of LuLu is just fantastic, and she is the true star of this film. Panabaker couldn’t make the transition to the dark side during LuLu’s diabolical reign of terror. Shae is suppose to change, when she agrees to murder other men, but once the killing spree started, I just saw the same person at the beginning of the movie. Shae embraces LuLu as a friend, and she’s proud of her new lifestyle. But Panabaker needed to show some more nastiness during the transformation, and I just didn’t see it. Panabaker isn’t awful here. In fact, she’s pretty solid. Still, Panabaker couldn’t take the Shae character to the next level.

Director Austin Chick shows a good amount of gore and blood. The one torture scene is a prime example of Chick‘s impending barrage of violence. LuLu and Shae tie-up Simon in his work garage. Shae smacks Simon across the face with a wrench, Shae uses a power tool to knock out all of Simon’s front teeth, LuLu cuts off his feet with a saw, and Shae ends it all with a gunshot to the head. You’ll see lots of blood, and brutal violence, but Chick takes a tasteful approach to the one rape scene here.

Girls Against Boys could’ve been something special, but it’s just another ordinary revenge flick, that tries to follow in the footsteps of I Spit On your Grave (the original and the remake). Hell, the movie poster is clearly paying homage to the original. I’ve always labeled the original I Spit On your Grave as a  horribly overrated film, and I still believe the 2010 remake is the better movie. I will never understand the horror community’s obsession for the original (and in some cases the remake), and the I Spit On Your Grave original inspired a handful of terrible straight-to-video, low-budget, and independent rape revenge films.

Anyway, as I said before, Girls Against Boys could’ve been something to remember. LuLu was the PERFECT character, and LaLiberte was the right woman for the job. But Girls Against Boys slowly goes through the motions, and you can see everything coming from a mile away.

And the ending is very disappointing. LuLu senses Shae’s hesitation to continue the extreme Thelma and Louise lifestyle, and the relationship becomes more complicated, when Shae forms a friendship with a guy from one of her classes. Shae neglects LuLu, so LuLu follows Shae to a Halloween party. Shae’s new friend is the DJ at the Halloween party, and while Shae’s in the bathroom, LuLu uses a sword to murder Shae’s new friend. Shae returns home devastated, but LuLu explains the reasons behind the murder: she did it for Shae’s protection, and she wanted to remind Shae you can’t trust any man under any circumstances. Well, Shae didn’t buy into this explanation, so she uses the bloody sword to murder LuLu.

I GUESS I can understand the reasons behind Shae murdering LuLu. LuLu was out of control, and someone had to stop her. Shae was LuLu’s only true friend in the world, so I guess she wanted to be the one, who finished her off. Yeah, I get that. Still, it’s a very anticlimactic and underwhelming finale. It’s also kind of stupid. Shae finds the sword on table, when she walks through the door of her apartment. LuLu comes out of the shower. And as LuLu tries to explain her side of the story, Shae picks up the sword, turns around, and she slices a good cut across LuLu’s abdomen.

Eh, Shae is OBVIOUSLY upset over the murder of her potential boyfriend. LuLu’s actions infuriated her, so WHY would LuLu leave the freakin’ sword on the table??? And to top it off, LuLu’s taking a shower, while the sword is sitting out in the open, giving Shae PLENTY of time to prepare and think of a plan. Did LuLu really expect to sit down with Shae and just talk about it? Ugh, the ending annoyed me so much, because LuLu is this crafty and cold-blooded killer throughout the movie, but a careless and stupid (and random) choice is her undoing at the end? Unbelievable.

It’s a predictable movie with a dumb ending, but I didn’t hate Girls Against Boys. Girls Against Boys is a bloody and violent revenge film with a dark sense of humor (mainly from the LuLu character). Unfortunately, Girls Against Boys is average at best, but I’ll give this one an extra bump, because Nicole LaLiberte is simply amazing. 

Final Rating: 6/10

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