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August 5, 2015

Movie Review: Barely Lethal (2015)

This is the story of a secret assassin whose training began at a very young age who has decided she wants a normal teenage life.  Agent 83 (Hailee Steinfeld), or Megan as she prefers to be known as, fakes her death during the capture of the notorious Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba).

Gathering intel into the teenage world, Megan utilizes the films Clueless, The Breakfast Club and Mean Girls to determine how to fit into the high school world.  Through watching these films, Megan determines how to label everyone.

Barely Lethal, unfortunately, has a hard time determining what kind of movie it is.  At times it feels like it caters to the audience that would enjoy the Spy Kids franchise but at others, it definitely goes the PG-13 route.  The dialogue early on felt very 1980s action era and seemed like it was only there to get the clich√© story going.  Once Megan reaches high school, the dialogue improves, especially when Liz (Dove Cameron) is able to deliver the film’s more memorable lines like, “…ass baby of Criss Angel and Russell Brand,” when describing classmate Cash (Toby Sebastian).

Despite how predictable the movie was throughout, there were a few comical performances that had me chuckling.  Rob Huebel’s character has very awkward discussions with his son Roger (Thomas Mann).  Dan Fogler as the teacher who has a man-crush on Cash (Tony Sebastian) who is the lead singer of the local band, Emotacons.  Steve-O was actually kind of funny as well as Pedro, the sympathetic torturer.  As stated earlier, Dove Cameron’s lines really help this movie along.  There’s a really small part where you’ll see Topher Grace in this movie – blink and you’ll miss him.  Throw in Rachael Harris (who had one of my favorite characters on the TV show Archer) and you may be able to get through this film.

The blu-ray extras include a behind the scenes look at the making of the film.  There are also deleted scenes which were wisely omitted from the final cut of the film.

On a scale of 1 to 5 Pile Drivers, I’d give Barely Lethal 2.5 – cute, kinda comical, but it just doesn’t seem to fit an actual group.  Barely Lethal felt too kiddy at times for teens and too adult at the other times for the youngsters.

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