JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE
**1/2 (out of 5)
July 28, 2006
Jesse Metcalfe as JOHN TUCKER
Brittany Snow as KATE
Ashanti as HEATHER
Sophia Bush as BETH
Arielle Kebbel as CARRIE
Penn Badgley as SCOTT
Jenny MacCarthy as LORI
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Betty Thomas
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
“John Tucker Must Die” is the kind of movie that fits right in a demographic. If you’re a girl in high school, chances are this is your kind of movie. If you’re a guy in high school, you might see it as well, if you’re on a date.
Outside of this given demographic, the film has little appeal. It’s a pretty standard, tame romantic comedy for the high school crowd. With a title like “John Tucker Must Die,” I was hoping for a darker, more sardonic comedy. However, the producers went for a very mainstream feel. That’s probably not a bad decision from a business standpoint, but I sure would have liked to see something a little more like “Jawbreaker.”
Still, “John Tucker Must Die” isn’t that bad. It’s a story of four girls who plot to ruin the king of the school. John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe) is the most charismatic and likable guy at school. He’s the captain of the basketball team, and he’s dating several girls at once. When the girls accidentally find out about his infidelity, and are subsequently each dumped by Tucker, they unite to destroy him. Their secret weapon is the new girl Kate (Brittany Snow), whom they make over to be his true love.
“John Tucker Must Die” actually has something for everyone. For the ladies, you’ve got Jesse Metcalfe strutting around through half the film with his shirt off. For the guys, you’ve got a cadre of hot girls bouncing around in cheerleader outfits. You can never go wrong with high school girls in cheerleader outfits, let me assure you.
The cast of “John Tucker Must Die” is a veritable who’s who list of young stars that have almost made it. None of them are huge names to carry the film, and many are culled from the ranks of television, but they all hold their own in both acting and comedy.
Of course, the most obvious star is Jesse Metcalfe, everyone’s favorite jailbait gardener from “Desperate Housewives.” However, less obvious is Brittany Snow, whom you might remember from the television show “American Dreams.” Snow is a very pretty face, but she also has a good talent for acting. Her look is very realistic and approachable, against the picture-perfect model look of her co-stars Arielle Kebbel and Sophia Bush.
However, this girl-next-door attractiveness is going to help Snow out in the future. Keep your eye on this girl, ‘cause she’s likely to be the next Sandra Bullock.
Unfortunately, if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen the best and funniest parts of the film. I know, I know. This is a huge cliche for me to say. However, it’s entirely true. Not only are the funniest parts in the trailers, but because you know what happens in all the funny parts from seeing the trailers, you’re left cold and unsurprised.
Sadly, “John Tucker Must Die” isn’t as good as it could have been, especially with veteran comedy director Betty Thomas at the helm. However, it’s not terrible, either. It should secure the teenage market, and against films like “Miami Vice,” just might surprise people.