Movie News

Kraken loves that smart comedies are returning with THE ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT!

Published at: Jan. 27, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST by quint

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here to introduce Kraken's latest review from Sundance. I too loved this movie. And so shall you all, says me. This one is probably the most commercial entertainment movie I saw at the fest. It'll do really well, methinks. Here's the tentacled one with his thoughts:

I'm really happy to see that "smart" comedies are starting to come back. Last year with SUPERBAD and JUNO it felt like the time when Kevin Smith first showed up on the scene back in the 90's (when I was a teenager) and brought intelligence back to the teen/collage age comedy, not to mention an R rating that didn't insult its young adult audience. ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT feels like it's cut from the same cloth as these deep thinking comedies. It's witty characters and style make it the kind of film you'd want to visit a few times over just to hang out with it a little more. Like the film BRICK it takes a High School spin on the Film Noir detective genre, but where BRICK focuses on the darker elements and takes a more serious tone, ASSASSINATION is more faithful to its John Hughes comedy roots. It starts out with our sleuth/reporter Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) looking for his first big story for the local high school paper. He finds it in the form of a robbery of all the completed SAT tests. Everyone seems suspect and interested in this case since it effects all the students, but Funke's clues lead him to the resident super jock and class president Paul Moore (Patrick Taylor) who constantly refers to himself in the third person and spouting about doing things the PM-WAY. But in classic Noir style, things might not be as they seem. The film is populated by a bevy of insane and super entertaining characters that reminded me a lot of the film CLUE. Bruce Willis's super strict former military principal is probably the most fun I've had watching Willis on screen since Die Hard... and it's no cameo part either, he's an integral part of this film. There is also the Spanish teacher played by Josh Pais that seriously almost steals the film. Honestly, I would almost suggest seeing this film just based on his few scenes. Then we of course have the dame in distress/femme fatale played by Mischa Barton who is sure to have the red blooded males in the audience drooling and shifting uncomfortably in their seat when she's on screen. These characters just scratch the surface of the interesting players in this mystery all tied together by the engaging and clever Bobby Funke. I know I'm focusing a lot on the characters and not so much the story. I don't want this to give the impression that the story is lacking and the films only strong points are the characters themselves. But writing about a film that is at its roots a mystery, I don't want to give too much away about what happens. But this film is definitely one to be excited about when it comes out. I have a feeling it's going to be a cult hit with High School and College students at the same time being enjoyable for an older audience as well. The direction and writing is very sharp in ASSASSINATION and I hope the trend for these smarter comedies continues for many more years to come. Kraken CLICK IT HERE TO SUMMON THE KRAKEN!

Readers Talkback

comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Jan. 27, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    I would have assassinated my HS president no problem

    by BetaRayBill07

    He was a real ass. Meh, he's probably gay and has no job or no car by now. Or in prison. Yay me and all the other unpopular kids in HS!

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by tritium

    No way...never before!

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Foiled again

    by tritium

    Damn you BetaRayBill!

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Damn you, Beta boy

    by tritium

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    tritium

    by BetaRayBill07

    Sorry dude. It'll happen...just be patient. Or wait, don't be patient, be quicker on the draw. Or not. Ugh this is my life.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Heh

    by BeefSupreme

    Collage age drama...does that take some time during elementary?

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    This film actually sounds good.

    by tritium

    I love seeing Bruce Willis in character roles, rather than as the headliner.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST

    If Juno and Superbad were smart comedies

    by INWOsuxRED

    didn't smart comedy return with them, and not this film?

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Mischa Barton will leave us drooling???

    by IndustryKiller!

    Ummmmmm....yeah somehow I doubt that.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Mischa Barton

    by BetaRayBill07

    Extremely overrated- in both looks and talent. Does nothing for me.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Xiphos

    by Holodigm

    bulimia

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 4:55 p.m. CST

    WTF? How was Superbad a smart comedy?????

    by couP

    not saying it wasn't a good movie, but on what terms are you calling that "smart"...?

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Clue

    by greyspecter

    One of my favorites. An ensemble cast of lesser known actors who therefore shelve egos for the story's sake. Not sure how I feel about this one. Would Rushmore qualify as a 'smart' HS comedy? How about Ferris Bueller?

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Because gay men bleed pink?

    by s00p3rm4n

    For fuck's sake, dude. Just because you think some chick is hot doesn't mean that anyone who doesn't isn't a man. And also... Funke? Is this an Arrested Development homage, or is it an Arrested Development homage?

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Mischa's HOT<HOT<HOT

    by splendido007

    Also she is a way better actress than the crap in the OC

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Clue!

    by red_weed

    that is like the best movie ever! I know it off by heart. And I loved brick too. So I'll defiantly check this one out.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 8:54 p.m. CST

    maebe...funke

    by occula

    i think THIS is what 'american teens' want to see. sign my ass up. i thought 'brick' was just about one of the smartest films made in the last 10 years and - like 'election' - mined the high school world for what it's REALLY worth. frak all the generic stuff out there, this is the kind of idea that cuts to the quick of it. isn't there also a film coming out about a kid who becomes a shrink to his fellow students? also an interesting idea...

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    a smart comedy?

    by bright boy

    this, coming from someone who doesn't even know how to spell coll-E-ge? sounds kind of dumb. not to mention he tagged kevin smith's films as smart... yes, dick and fart jokes beng spewed by sex-obsessed man-children... genius. i'll pass.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 10:32 p.m. CST

    JUNO != Smart

    by hatespeech

    If that's what you think is smart, you're obviously amused by small shiny metal objects and probably wear a helmet as well.

  • Jan. 27, 2008, 10:43 p.m. CST

    How in the hell is Juno "Smart"?

    by critch

    The main character is so stupid that she plans sex for an entire year, and still gets pregnant. Then gets scared off of an abortion because "The baby might have fingernails". Every character in the movie is an idiot and talks with the worst dialogue in a movie I've ever heard. Juno is stupid as hell. It's not even funny.

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Juno = overrated.

    by skywalkerfamily

    THIS YEAR'S LITTLE MISS PREGNANT SUNSHINE!

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Smart

    by Mickey.p

    Is America ready for smart comedies ? number 1 film this weekend "Meet The Spartans". Don't get me wrong in UK last week's number 1 was "Alien Vs Predator Requiem". LOL

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    shit johnyaztec

    by Kraken

    You figured me out. Yes Mickey, I'm not sure if America is ready, that's why I said I thought it'd be a cult hit... and Meet The Spartans being #1 makes me want to walk out in traffic. Good lord.

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST

    How DO you define a smart comedy?

    by greyspecter

    For my money, Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity are smart comedies (dramedies?) that respect their audiences. Or, here's one: Without A Clue, with the marvelous Ben Kingsley and Michael Cane.

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    definitely a plant

    by bright boy

    this whole site has become one big plant-fest. the comicon episode of entourage gets to the heart of the matter in terms of what's going on around here. a rival site needs to be launched asap.

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Rushmore is "smart comedy"

    by finky089

    If this pans out liek that, I'm there. If it pans out like "Superbad", I'm watchign Rushmore on Criterion DVD for the 58th time.

  • Jan. 28, 2008, 7:02 p.m. CST

    TWO WORDS: VIRGINA TECH.

    by uss cygnus

    Killing and assassinations in a school setting, even suggested ones, are comedic gold. Just ask Cho-Seung Hui, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

  • Jan. 29, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Acronyms of Smart

    by DigitizedSociety

    Please explain to me how Superbad is smart? It is a teen comedy that has just dialogue that even makes the most bad ass old time sailors cringe. There are soooo many teen targeting comedies that are about a party and the crazy over the top events of the night that I dont have any understanding as to why that movie is smart. Yes its funny and sure its a good time, but its not revolutionary and its not smart. how can I take your seriously when you cant spell "College".

  • Jan. 29, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    DigitizedSociety

    by fubbleskag

    Hey, it could have been worse: he could have misspelled "so", "your", or "its" (3 times) - and let's not start on grammar.