Title: Barely Lethal
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Kyle Newman
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Sophie Turner, Samuel L. Jackson
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
What It Is: Agent 83 (Steinfeld) is a teenage special operative trained from childhood to be a perfected fighting weapon. Now that she’s an adolescent she longs for the “normalcy” that comes with highschool, boyfriends, and pimples. She fakes her own death and then poses as a Canadian exchange student. Megan as she’s now known is navigating a different sort of ocean now. Whether it’s who to go to homecoming with or what extra-curricular activity to partake in. Can Megan make it through this experience? And if so how?
What We Think: This really is the movie that you think it is. It’s a messy, uncoordinated pile of ideas that never get realized. It’s almost as if the writers said let’s just go ahead and throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Rachael Harris as the mother figure in the movie is very funny in her limited role, and Sam Jackson is essentially wasted in a Nick Fury-lite role here as the head of the spec ops organization. Nobody is very good here. Sophie Turner is overcooking it hardcore and none of the other young cast have anything to bring to the table in terms of performance.
Our Grade: F, Barely Lethal is barely a movie. It doesn’t do anything original, in fact it retreads the dreariest parts of what make highschool comedies terrible. Do not see this movie. Not only is it a farce of everything film can be, it sucks the creativity out of whatever it touches, almost like a succubus for skilled people. I find this analogy too true given that you have an Oscar nominee and one of current cinemas most prolific character actors and you waste both of them. That in and of itself is inexcusable.