On Sept. 16, Netflix released a new dark comedy titled Do Revenge. The movie’s cast features well-known actors from a variety of teenage rom-coms and dramedy series. The main character, Drea, is played by none other than Riverdale’s Camila Mendes, and her co-lead, a transfer student named Eleanor, is played by Stranger Things star Maya Hawke. Euphoria’s Austin Abrams plays the male lead, Max, and Outer Banks star Jonathan Daviss is his sidekick. Drea’s former clique is composed of 13 Reasons Why actress Alisha Boe, Alexa & Katie star Paris Berelc, and Nickelodeon actress Maia Reficco. The cast list tops off with Love, Victor’s Ava Capri, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between’s Talia Ryder, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who you may know as Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or as Daphne from the live action Scooby Doo movies. The cast is practically a melting pot of various actors and actresses, which of course, brings in viewers.
Do Revenge is not for the faint of heart, as it casts a dark shadow on the psychological warfare of high school life, where status, relationships, and reputation are everything. The film takes place in Miami at the prestigious Rosehill Country Day High School, where all students are decked in Easter-egg-colored uniforms and pastel berets, and like in all teenage rom-coms, have unrealistic Ivy League aspirations where “spots at Yale” just happen to open up like magic portals.
Max (Austin Abrams), whose “pretty” face is also plastered on tabloids and social media platforms, is dating Drea. They are practically a celebrity couple, but arguably, Drea could do much better, even before we learn about Max’s toxicity. Drea’s life blows up when Max coerces her into filming a sexual video of herself and releases it to the entire Internet. Then, in comes transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke), who is haunted by a rumor that she forcefully kissed a girl at middle school sleepaway camp. The two outcasts team up and plot to “do revenge.” While Drea works on untangling Eleanor’s rumor by destroying the life of farmgirl Carissa (Ava Capri), Eleanor befriends Max and carries out some dirty deeds from behind the curtain. The story is full of twists and turns and unveils the manipulative tactics swirling in the ugly minds of high school teenagers.
Sophie Turner’s character Erica, a snobby rich girl at Drea’s tennis camp, stole the show in a one-minute scene where she throws a temper tantrum over a cocaine addiction accusation—a rumor planted by Drea. According to PopBuzz, the iconic scene may be an Oscar-winning performance. There is also speculation of whether Netflix could create a Do Revenge II that focuses on Erica getting revenge on Drea for trashing her future and landing her in a substance abuse facility.
It’s difficult to root for either Drea or Eleanor, as neither have the greatest track records or personalities. Essentially, there are no “good guys,” just one major antagonist in the character of Max. Also, the absence of adults is so abundant in the film that it’s abnormal whenever Sarah Michelle Geller’s character makes an appearance. The movie is chaotic, Hollywood woke, and has many plotlines. It’s worth a first watch, but maybe not a second one.