I figured this was going to be a weird movie, and I was certain of it when, relatively early on in the film, Jody (Brittany Murphy) sat on her bed and asked her father (Michael Biehn), with a straight face, “are you disappointed that I’m still a virgin?” I guess the tagline of “Lose your innocence…or lose your life” should have tipped me off earlier.
So yes, it’s weird, but it’s not bad. It’s got a great cast — Brittany Murphy, Jay Mohr, and Michael Biehn, plus Jesse Bradford for a (very) brief cameo. So the acting is good and the group chemistry is there, but the characters get increasingly stupider and it becomes more and more difficult to relate to them.
There were some weirdly amazing parts, though, like the fight scene in the science lab that begins with Brittany Murphy delivering a roundhouse kick to the head. Or how angry the principal looks that the students are planning what he calls a “fuck fest,” despite Sheriff Michael Biehn reminding him that that’s better than “a pile of dead teenagers.”
In fact, much of the dialogue in this movie is pretty amazing, but not in a good way. It was hard to get too invested in the story because the dialogue was just that unrealistic. Maybe I would have felt differently had I seen this movie when it came out. At the time, I was a high school virgin, and maybe I’ve forgotten just how dumb I sounded when I opened my mouth back then. And these kids sounded pretty dumb. For that matter, most of these adults sounded pretty dumb too.
That said, the ending was spectacular in that over-the-top ridiculous kind of way. So this movie will keep you entertained, but it almost certainly won’t make you think. And you know, sometimes that’s okay.