Funny, fresh and entertaining, full of vibrancy and modern humour, Do Revenge may be the best teen comedy from Netflix in recent memory.
Written by Becca Johnson / September 19, 2022
Netflix' new straight-to-streaming rom-com Do Revenge takes us to a posh private high school, alongside Camilla Mendes (Riverdale) and Maya Hawke (Stranger Things). When the pair discover they've both been wronged by students at their school, they decide to work together to enact revenge on one another's enemies.
Do Revenge is full of young talent, the performances sucking you in from the minute you hit play. In the lead role is Camila Mendes playing Drea, an individual who has had her sex tape leaked by an ex. She's fiery, strong and confident, yet of course incredibly damaged by what has happened to her. Her characters journey is inspiring and important, and Mendes plays both sides of her flawlessly; it may be her best to date. Beside her is Maya Hawke as Eleanor, a character who although is proud of her sexuality, had her image ruined when she was younger by being outed by a classmate at camp. She hasn't had an easy time since that day, her confidence taking a huge setback. Hawke plays Eleanor excellently, and is believable at all times. The pair work just as well together as they do separately, with great chemistry and a central friendship that keeps you invested. Great performances also come from Austin Abrams (Euphoria), Talia Ryder (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), and the iconic Sarah Michelle Gellar as Headmaster.
The revenge storyline isn't exactly a new idea, but Do Revenge keeps things fresh and exciting. There's twists and turns during the plot that are hard to see coming, plenty of drama, and terrible characters getting their comeuppance. The ways in which our characters take their revenge are cruel, mean and down right hilarious, featuring the likes of exposed texts, hidden camera's and even laced soup. What's most surprising about Do Revenge is how well the comedy works – it's laugh out loud funny. The script utilises a lot of Gen Z, social media age phrases and ideas, but manages to use them in a way that refrains from being corny or eye-roll worthy. The right audience will have no trouble understanding and enjoying the gags here. The script expects you to suspend a lot of disbelief, as things often get wacky, wild and very unrealistic, but if you're on board and can take the movie as it comes, you're bound to have a blast.
It's also great to see so many references to previous chick flicks filtered throughout the movies run-time. Fans of the genre will have so much fun spotting homages to The Craft, 10 Things I Hate About You and Clueless, to name a few. This ties everything together in a neat and cohesive little bow, the nostalgia giving it a fun edge that's bound to put a smile on your face. When combining this with the simply gorgeous killer outfits, bright and vibrant cinematography and bumpin' girl-pop soundtrack, it's nothing short of an incredibly fun time. Despite it's hundred references, Gen-Z quotable lines and too-polished outfits, nothing feels forced. It's immersive and indulgent from start to finish.
Do Revenge is not without it's flaws. Though mostly paced well, it clocks in at 118 minutes; you can't help but feel as though it's a little too long for what it is. It sags around the middle, leaving you wanting the plot to push forward a little and reach the hopefully climactic ending. It also feels like it's trying to do too much by it's third act, overwhelming the audience and shoving in a few too many elements. It feels the need to search for a purpose, even though just being a fun time would suffice.
Do Revenge is a witty, hilarious black comedy showcasing good performances, gorgeous visuals, too many references to count and, as promised, a whole lot of payback. It's an homage to the click flick genre that fits in tidily amongst the rest, looking like it could become this generations staple. As far as Netflix Originals go, it's one of the good ones.