Sometimes one needs a less pretentious movie to lift its mood up. Barely Lethal is one of them. Watching it I felt amused and refreshed. It happens maybe because I like how Hailee Steinfeld grows up by being better and better every day. Since True Grit which brought her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress at 14, she kept intact her glowing.
This movie is an independent action comedy, where even Samuel L. Jackson is less tiring as usual. I’ll come back to him later. I am sorry to find that it received more negative than neutral or even good reviews especially on my unloving Rotten Tomatoes.
The film follows a special teenage who yearns for a “normal” adolescence. She’s an orphan and she is enrolled in a government-run assassin training academy named Prescott. In reality there quite is something named Prescott in USA, but it’s Prescott Christian Academy (“Growing kids in Christ”, “30 Years of Excellence”, blah, blah). “Agent 83” alias “Megan Walsh” is the best in her class, and even being trained by Jackson’s character to achieve excellence without attachment, she learned that having a soft spot for someone or another is only natural. During a mission to capture an arms dealer somewhere in Chechnya, she escapes and returns to US where she joined an exchanging students program in order to finally have a taste of high school life. Doesn’t matter how she did all that, it’s not important how she who was missing in action and presumed dead, escaped from Chechnya and appeared with a whole American teenage equipment ready to fill the spot with that family in the student exchange program. It is suggested at a moment that she worked at Sbarro (who made those “amazing garlic knots”) for a few weeks over the summer to make some extra cash… That’s not the point. The thing is that she is sweet in her new role and the movie is entertaining.
Hailee Steinfeld is “Agent 83” alias “Megan Walsh” (her high school name), the British Sophie Turner is “Agent 84” alias “Heather”, later in the movie, Dove Cameron is “Liz Larson”, the girl in the house accepting to host Heather in the student exchange program, Jessica Alba is “Victoria Knox” the arms dealer, Samuel L. Jackson is “Hardman”, the Prescott Academy instructor, Thomas Mann is “Roger Marcus”, a high school boy, and sensitive geek, Toby Sebastian is “Cash Fenton”, the high school star, he sings and he looks as he’s a member of “One Direction”, Gabriel Basso is “Gooch”, the upper family class clown, Rachael Harris is “Mrs. Larson”, Liz Larson’s mother. Also, Jaime King appears in a small role, because she’s beautiful and she’s the director’s wife.
Here you have the trailer:
Barely Lethal was directed by Kyle Newman and was written by John D’Arco. It doesn’t have a 10 imdb rating but I assure you that it is not even 10% as annoying as Blackhat (2015) with Chris Hemsworth, or Paranoia (2013) with Liam Hemsworth. They just came to my mind, it’s not personal. Maybe I’m going to publish some time what favorites actors and actresses I have, and of course some not so in favor with my tastes, but I am trying to be objective at the same time, and if someone who I don’t like is making a great role, I appreciate it very much. Who is good, is good even if I don’t like him 🙂
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