Movie Review: Detention

I’ve realized that my reviews are more summary then review. Or follow a intro – summary – ity bity review set-up. I don’t know if there is anything wrong with that – but if you want my opinion/review you can just skip on down to the bottom paragraph. Anyway this revnopsis. (review/synopsis…or would synew be better?) is for the movie Detention.

Before I watch the movie let me share the trailer with you and here is why, it’s what got me interested in the movie in the first place. Earth shattering, right? However that is different then other movies such as Gone with the Wind or Rebecca, which were watched because they were on a special list. Before I get into what struck me about the movie, here is the trailer:

The first half seems like it’s going to be some teenybopper comedy, sugary and sweet, likely with some amusing one-liners, but nothing that will make me think deep thoughts. Then we get into the murder. WHAT? Seriously? It comes out of nowhere. That is why I had to watch this movie. For the sheer fact that if the trailer could surprise me, well then, maybe the movie could too. Also, since they had said it was during Prom I was waiting for the words to say ‘cancel-your-limo’…gets me every time! Despite knowing and seeing that people are getting hacked up I still thought it, somehow, was a comedy. Then as I’m putting it in my DVD and notice the word ‘slasher flick’ I remember that it just might be scary at points.

Something you should know about me – I’m a horror movie wuss. It doesn’t even have to be that scary (I own the Scream trilogy and I’ve watched them all and I still get scared when I watch them). Thus watching this ‘genere bending slasher flick’ in the afternoon was a positive life choice. Onto the movie watching (if you’d like to come back in a couple hours so the review feels more real, feel free. Or just jump down to the next paragraph and ignore my nonsense). Oh quick side note – under the movie rating I crack up at ‘Bloody Violence’…I’ve watched one too many British shows to think of that word in conjunction with it’s anatomical/literal meaning over it’s slang status across the pond.

Opening Line, “I’m Taylor Fisher and I’m a B.I.T.C.H (it ends up being an acronym for Beauty. Intelligence, Talent, Charisma, Hoobastank (what they’re good)).” My thought about her? Nobody’s hair is that perfectly fanned out over a pillow…ever. It reminds me of a Daria episode where she is making a documentary about her sister. Also, Taylor is an evil character, obviously. No love lost there however if I had any delusions of it being strictly a teenybopper comedy, they died in the first three minutes of the movie with the gruesomeness of Taylor’s death. Well, that’s how I felt at the beginning of the movie. Now, at the end, it’s just such a random movie. I decided to replay bits of it while I write because there was just so much that, wow, I can’t even make sense of it. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to do a summary because it was everywhere. However now that I’ve seen the movie the ‘Cancel Your Future’ makes 1000x more sense.

After Taylor bites the bullet we meet the main protagonist, Riley Jones (played by Shanley Caswell). Her opening remarks? Life sucks. Another tidbit by Riley? The 90s are history, and so am I. And through that I realized that the 90s were officially 20 years ago and am a bit wigged out. Back to Riley. What can I say about her? She’s a self described loser, a vegetarian feminist whatever, dangerously clumsy and unlike in Twilight people don’t seem to find it super romantically endearing. They take it for what it is, mock worthy or a bit inconvenient – especially for her (falls over a swing set while trying to escape a murderer). Part of the story is told talking to the camera (like Taylor had) most of it treats us like the fourth wall we are.

Weird bits in the movie

  • The banners. I enjoyed the banners throughout the movie, such as “The movie detention is against drunk driving even if you’re suicidal.”
  • Definitions/wikis – occasionally there would be tid bits. Like the hipster thief had a hoodie that said Sigur Ros. The screen informed me Sigur Ros is from Iceland – made Riley’s banter make more sense.
  • The scoreboards (such as Riley: 0 Hipster:1)
  • The chapter titles: The Terrible Ultimatum of Clapton Davis or The Unfortunate Collapse of Ione and Riley’s Friendship

We make it to school and the titles start. I loved the opening titles. The names were put on items people had, such as a pair of Chuck Taylors (with CT’s name replaced) or a Hershey bar, or the message that someone was texting. At school we meet the super hip Clapton Davis (played by Josh Hutcherson). What you can’t see in the photo is a bright pink fanny pack. Yup, it’s pretty fantastic.

Riley (at school) has had enough and she goes to hang herself in the school hallway. While dangling two girls just pass by, not caring. If that’s not bad enough psycho slasher comes and interrupts her strangle. It’s one thing to choke to death, it’s another to be slashed. She doesn’t die then, but is attacked again that night in the privacy of her home.

The next day, at the game Billy Nolan (school jock who is challenging Clapton for the love of Ione. Ione (played by Spencer Locke) is kind of sorta friends with Riley and Clapton, or use to be anyway) spits acid and the movie makes another random jerking turn (like the trailer seeming all teenybopper and then WHAM horror) and from that moment on it was just weird and random.  We don’t deal with Billy’s weird mutant powers long (but we do get to see him punch Clapton in the forehead). After the game Billy (played by Parker Bagley) is attacked at a party (held at Sander Sanderson’s house – Sander (played Aaron David Johnson) is a friend of Clapton, Riley and Iona) and killed. A video is found and everyone on the video is given Saturday Detention by the charming Principal Verge (played by Dane Cook).

While trying to figure out who the murder is (in detention) the kids find a guy whose been in detention for 19 years who solves an equation. The equation states the world will end in 10 minutes – but the fracture will occur in 1992 when someone who went back will blow the world up. Riley, Clapton and Sander all go back in time. Riley tries to discover who is trying to blow up the world (I wont divulge who – that’s a secret). She runs into Ione and convinces her to take Verge (who is there present day principal) to the prom thus making him not want to set off the bomb that gave him a scar on his face (since the bomb was a dud). While in 1992 Clapton realizes Ione isn’t interested in him, it was her mom, and he gets over it.

Back in the present things have changed. Verge is married, and Riley and Clapton are together (as they are told by Verge). The two are also prom king and queen. Just as the two are finally about to kiss, the killer comes out for one last scare (don’t they ever learn). The magnetized bear comes back for one last time too and bites into the murderer’s head. The movie ends from that point showing what the cast is up to.

Really Random Plot things:

  • bear stuffed in the hallway that is highly magnetic
  • organic super-conduction magnets found fused in the bear
  • Billy the fly-blooded boy
  • Riley hitting on her teacher while he tries to cheer her up (she then discovers he is gay)
  • A time traveling bear abduction via aliens
  • Ione and her mom Slone do a freaky friday (kind of) and Slone’s mind goes into Ione’s body in present day while Ione’s goes into Slone’s body when she was Ione’s age (so she goes back to 1992). Presumably aliens do this too. So for the last few weeks Ione has actually been Sloan
  • A movie within a movie within a movie that has a review by Sherlock Moriarty (I just enjoy that bit) but in all the movies they go to a movie for a clue which is a movie where they look into a movie for a clue (like russian nesting dolls or something) then in each layer a person dies bringing the clue seekers back to their level to realize someone has died/is killed the best is that each level has people that are all in detention.
  • Temporal loop holes
  • The stuffed bear (that was abducted from outerspace and chilling in the school) has been converted into a time machine for science class. Oh yes, they all took quantum physics and had to try to make time machines for class. Sign me up for that one

All in all I enjoyed the movie. I think you have to be in the right mood for it. Like it’d be great after a bad day. (My sister ended up stopping by and watching the movie with me. She said it was just what she needed after the day she had.) As a plus there was lots of witty banter or one liners that I enjoyed.  With so many twists and turns and really just random things it would definitely take you out of your head for a couple hours. If you stay thinking about your stuff you wont follow the movie. I just might have to get it for my rainy day pick up. Also there were LOTS of 90s references, so that made it fun. I was a kid in the 90s so not all of them stuck, but that’s okay, the handy wiki would clue me in to the less obvious ones. So, in conclusion if you’re looking for a deep movie this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a random amusing movie loaded with pop culture this is for you.

Until next time ~ Q

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