Title: Barely Lethal Director: Kyle Newman Year: 2015 Run time: 1hr 36m
“Megan Walsh (Hailee Steinfeld) is a teenage special ops agent who yearns for a normal adolescence. After faking her own death she assumes the role of an exchange student and quickly learns that surviving the treacherous waters of a typical American high school can be even more difficult than international espionage. Jam-packed with action from the cafeteria to the battleground, and with hilarious performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba and Sophie Turner, Barely Lethal shows just how hard surviving high school really is!”
3:40 - Solid opening credits. 4:18 - Yay Samuel J! He’s cornered the market in secret army leaderships. 7:06 - Watching Mean Girls doesn’t count as intel, brilliant as it is. 11:30 - “Let’s just say I’m a little disappointed with your life choices.” 13:19 - Mission High School. It is a mission, jeez. 18:48 - “You look like you had a one night stand with Mr Potato Head.” 24:35 - Frog puns are fun. 31:24 - They were being mean to her about Cash, but I love a mascot. 25:02 - Must start adding hypothetically to sentences way too late. Genius. 38:58 - “We both know you are sketchier than a 2am waffle house.” 40:50 - Lara! So many references, Ima die. 54:19 - It certainly does matter which Hemsworth you know! 1:02:14 - There are some fab but complicated jokes in this. 1:08:47 - It’s bad, I know, but mini assassins are so cute. 1:16:45 - They’re not pretty heels but I bet they come in handy later. 1:20:44 - First date test: Puns. 1:24:09 - It’s all gone a bit Jurassic Park. 1:27:35 - Assassin in a prom dress.
It’s easy to sum this one up - hugely enjoyable but very hard work. It’s fast paced and so quick witted that it’s clearly aimed at hip teens that don’t use the word hip, and can catch onto all the jokes instantly. As oldies, Mr C and I tended to be a few steps behind, but it was a lot of fun trying to keep up!
The film treads a fine line between action movie and high school dramedy, occasionally it felt like they weren’t quite managing to balance the two things, but overall I think it was really well done. Hailee was fabulous, and Samuel LJ bringing his trademark tough but caring spy boss to another movie.
Lots of fun, but may need another watch to make sure nothing was missed.