Do Revenge Movie Review: Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke star in Netflix’s dark comedy Do Revenge, an update of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.
A fun and playful companion piece to the 2016 show Sweet/Vicious, Do Revenge skewers performative wakefulness and toxic patriarchy. This darkly comic vigilante tale about two young women seeking revenge against sexual abusers on a college campus was cancelled prematurely after just one season.
In search of cheap talent, Marvel swept in. In her promising career, Robinson is set to accomplish much more than her early blot on her filmography: Thor: Love and Thunder.
Whether it’s social satire like Clueless or psychological thrills like Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, Do Revenge stars Netflix talents Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke. It’s strictly streaming sensibility.
Mendes shines as social climber Drea Torres, whose “perfect existence” is shattered when a private film of hers is posted on the internet (likely by her douchey boyfriend), causing her to become a social pariah. Drea, in her humorous prologue monologue, likens herself to Icarus. Her deadpan delivery of “I flew too near to the sun and my guy leaked my sex tape” is spot-on. Drea was always an outcast among the wealthy students at her school. Despite her best efforts, she was never able to shake the impression that she was a fraud.
Hawke plays Eleanor, a shy girl who acts as her emotional counterpoint and eventual poisonous soulmate. Oscar winner Olivia Colman’s pet lizard is Eleanor’s best friend, and she spends her weekends hiding out in the house with her. She is the only person who didn’t see Drea’s private video, which is a major factor. In spite of their current ignorance, these two are destined to become the best of friends.
They hit it off this summer after meeting at the tennis club (a nod to the movie Strangers on a Train, perhaps). When Drea and Eleanor are together, they are free to be honest and open without worrying about the social pressures they would normally face in a high school setting. They share a common experience: being dumped by someone they trusted. Eleanor was accused of assault by the one person she had come out to, while Drea’s ex publicly shamed her in front of the entire school (and the globe) by dating her closest friend after they broke up. Eleanor’s therapist had told her, “Hurt people hurt people.” However, she didn’t buy it. She says teenage girls are inherently bad and that she would do anything to see her tormentor burned at the stake. And so would Drea. While chatting in an unremarkable bathroom, they hatch a crazy plan to “get even” with each other.
If Robinson had been able to trim 20 or so minutes from Do Revenge’s running time, the movie would have been much more efficient. It would have been easier to watch, and the satire would have been more pointed. There are some problems with the film’s pacing, especially in the second act, but the ending twist is so deliciously subversive — and so effortlessly foreshadowed — that you can’t help but overlook the film’s flaws.
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When it comes to metaphorically laden high school comedies, no film has come close to approaching the genius of Brian Duffield’s Spontaneous at least in the last ten years. Neither does And Do Revenge, but the book’s no-nonsense attitude and clear goals make it an easy recommendation. Especially when the “villain,” played by Austin Abrams, a lighter Timothée Chalamet, is as despicable as he is. Additionally, Robinson is not hesitant to put her heroes in dangerous situations. Without giving anything away, you may start to doubt that they deserve to be called the film’s heroines at one point.
When Camila Mendes’ Drea (Camila Mendes) sex tape gets leaked to the whole school, her entire life goes up in flames. Apparently, her boyfriend and the king of the school, Austin Abrams, leaked her sex tape. She is upset to learn that she is going to school with Carissa (Ava Capri), an old bully who started a nasty rumor about her at summer camp when they were 13 years old. Eleanor (Maya Hawke) is an awkward new transfer student. The unlikely friendship between Drea and Eleanor grows after a clandestine run-in at tennis camp.
Genre: Comedy, Mystery & Thriller
Original Language: English
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Producer: Anthony Bregman, Peter Cron, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Writer: Celeste Ballard, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Release Date (Streaming): Sep 16, 2022
Runtime: 1h 58m