An average guy of an Estonian high-school decides to defend his bullied classmate. This starts war between him and the informal leader of the class. As teenagers' honour is a touchy thing, everything ends in bloodshed.
Devon Browning is viewed as an outcast and is a victim of physical and emotional abuse from his classmates. After a tragic death in his family, his life begins to fall off course. He ... See full summary »
David Zimmerman III
For the most part it's a tale of an adolescent, Trevor, who gets picked on a lot at school. Not as much as he used to, because the year before he called in a phony bomb threat, complete with a working bomb (minus anything that would actually explode). Because of this, parents and teachers are afraid of him, and his fellow students generally avoid him, except for a group of outcasts called the "Trogs". As violence by the Jocks against the Trogs escalates, Trevor is the suspect for anything gone wrong, even though he didn't necessarily do anything. One teacher is willing to give Trevor the benefit of the doubt, and casts him in a highly controversial play about (what else?) school shootings. It all comes to a head as some other students create a plan to bring guns to school and kill everyone in the cafeteria. Written by
It's great to see a movie you think is going to be just awful ... and then is anything but.
The film amazed me by taking the issues of high school kids seriously, even those of kids who are about to commit the worst carnage imaginable. One of the best ways of perpetuating a problem is turning those affected by it and those who do bad things into angels and devils. Bang, Bang, You're Dead rejects this out of hand and gives everything a shade of grey, yet moves back, forgivably, from the logical climax to make a point about the theatricality of school life, much like the play on which it is sort-of-based.
It takes troubled kids out to kill seriously, gives them respect and tries to talk to them - and lets them talk, a lot. It is also a genuine drama, and takes no prisoners when it comes to depicting adult hypocrisy and aloofness. That's pretty subversive. Put it all together and you have a ready-made whipping boy for America's right wing. Yet it is this film that anybody who gives a damn about this kind of situation must see.
This makes it sound like a 1950s advisory film where parents and kids would watch what horrible consequences befell reckless teenagers. But it's much more than that: it's a cunning advisory film for everyone. Nobody comes out clean, but everybody is given the chance to become clean again.
The MPAA gave this an R rating, which is further proof that this pathetic star chamber of industry insiders ought to be disbanded.
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