The Red Right Hand
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JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE
Don't Get Mad. Get Even.

Director
Betty Thomas
Starring
Jesse Metcalfe
Brittany Snow
Ashanti
Sophia Bush
Arielle Kebbel
Jenny McCarthy

28? That's just... ridiculous. 28!? With the days of Grease long gone you would think that Hollywood would have ceased casting adults to play teenagers - the incident in question being the thirty year old Olivia Newton-John playing an eighteen year old. I don't watch Desperate Housewives so when I was told that Jesse Metcalfe was to head Betty Thomas' new teen-comedy flick I neither knew nor cared who the hell he was. Having seen what he can do, I still don't care. Having written for a few TV series over the years, Jeff Lowell has taken it upon himself to invade the big screen; with titles like Romantic Comedy and How I Met My Boyfriend's Dead Fiancee in the pipelines you can imagine the sort of drivel he generally writes - that's right, mushy, cliched nonsense that offers nothing new or original to an already tired (and possibly dead) genre. John Tucker Must Die is a glorious example of how contemporary cinema is dumbing itself down for its moronic public. But I digress.. Told from the perspective of the new girl, Kate [Snow], this is the story of three girls exacting revenge upon the high-school jock; popular with the ladies, captain of the sports team (following these plots it can be basketball or [American] football - it's never baseball, once skiing, but never baseball) muscular, good looking and rich. You see, my memories of high school are not so jaded; granted, I attended an English high school and was far from popular with the ladies.... or the guys.... or the faculty.... or anyone - I review films for a living, we all know I wasn't the most popular kid! - but I don't remember anyone having it that easy. I can't stand these types of school comedies; it wouldn't be so painful if their depictions were slightly more accurate to how a high school operates - I suggest kids write a script, edited by adults as opposed to adults desperately trying to remember what it's like to be a teenager.

The oh-so-different girls (Carrie [Kebbel] - short skirt wielding intellectual blonde bimbo; Heather [Ashanti] - Bring-It-On-esque popular cheerleader bimbo; Beth [Bush] - dim-witted conservational activist bimbo) formulate a plan to use Kate - being the least popular unknown in the whole school - to 'make' John fall in love with her, then tear out his heart, leaving him tattered and torn in a manner which he has inflicted upon others. Their attempts are immature and stupid but, of course, not nearly as preposterous as the spin Tucker manages to put on them to gain favour with his fellow students. There are only three or four and I'm positively dying to give you an example or two but I just can't be bothered.... alright, just one. The basketball team have successfully won an away game, all the students are lodged in a hotel room (high school rugby was never like that for me) and the Kate/Tucker seduction is starting to peek. Using modern technology (as only someone with no idea how technology works can use it) she convinces Tucker to don a thong and scale the balcony to her room - naturally she directs him to the teacher's room and everyone sees him in a thong, ha ha ha, not funny - especially since girls' thongs aren't designed with enough room in the front.....er..... not that I would know. If that wasn't stupid enough, he manages to spin it by demonstrating to the basketball team why they're better than any form of undies...for guys. Cut to the entire team following Tucker like sheep, thong straps clinging to the top of their hips, springing around the gym - cringe-worthy nonsense! He should have just been beaten up and labelled as homosexual for the rest of his high school career as anyone else would in that situation.

Along with the main cast are a few disposable faces; a forgettable teacher or two, other students, the token fat black guy, (my favourite) Tucker's brother - Tucker #2 [Penn Badgley] - who falls for Kate but is a little too edgy for his brother, with his long hair and retro music! One of his best delivered lines is during his initial introduction as John's brother, where Scott describes himself as 'the other less-built, not as good looking, untalented Tucker' - which is nonsense, of course, because if he was everything he described he wouldn't have been hired. The other character to note is Kate's hot Mother, Lori [McCarthy] who looks more tired than hot. I don't know what happened to the mad young, horny Ms. McCarthy but she seems incredibly bored by fame and her body - this is merely the impression I got, Jenny McCarthy and her affiliates have yet to issue a statement to counter this observation; maybe it's Jim Carrey, maybe he's got her working overtime, being pleasant and funny around him, who knows? (......Jim Carrey and his affiliates have yet to issue a statement to counter this observation). The overall impression you're left with, as the mushy ending comes to complete fruition, is one of complete confusion - Is this how high school is in the states? Where hot, buff, randy teens roam the corridors looking for love and never seen working (excluding one science lesson scene where Scott and Kate have to pour salt water into a tube....for whatever purpose)? Having been to Washington (the state, in which the film is based), I very much doubt it. The only people who will find this mildly amusing are immature little girls and those lacking the mental capacity to form abstract thought.... but I don't talk to those kinds of people and I don't think they would visit my site; they're more of the 'Hot Cheerleaders For Your Pleasure' ilk*

Release Date:
18th August 2006

The Scene To Look Out For:
Another attempt to get at Tucker is to fill his weight gain powder mix with the contents of oestrogen tablets. Tucker is instantly affected during the game, exposing his emotional side and leaving him with sensitive nipples. It's a senseless scene that isn't better than any of the others but throughout I kept imagining a more... far fetched version, in which Tucker's body combats the oestrogen and pumps out tonnes of testosterone. BAM! Beard! Just instant beardage, right there! Then in a violent rage, Tucker begins tearing up the school and all his class mates in a fit of hormonal manly ventilation. Alas, I'm not a director..... and now you know why.

Notable Characters:
The kid... I don't know his name. He didn't do enough to credit a name. Wait! He has a name, Freshman At Beach [Connor Widdows]! Yeah, brilliant! Well, Beth kisses Kate in Tucker's oversized jeep thing, as she does this little kid looks on, in awe and says, "Kiss her again. Go on, do it..."

Highlighted Quote:
"I was so upset I couldn't even enjoy the break-up sex.... Oh my God, I'm such a slut!"

In A Few Words:
"Plot: Hot stupid girls attempt to exact revenge on stupid muscle boy. Result: Unwatchable slutty schlock"

Total Score:
3/10


Matthew Stogdon

*(the perverted and cinematically retarded members of the public and their affiliates have yet to issue a statement to counter this observation)