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Barely Lethal

Coming Soon

Barely Lethal stars Academy Award nominate, Pitch Perfect 2 breakout star, Hailee Steinfield. The star studded cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, and Sophie Turner. Orphan Number 83 (Steinfield) longs for a normal life, but was trained as a master assassin, along with Number 84 (Turner). Naturally, she is top of her class but wants nothing more than to have a loving family and high school experience as summarized by popular films like Mean Girls, Sixteen Candles, Clueless, and The Breakfast Club. When Victoria Knox (Alba), a dangerous criminal, needs to be detained they send Number 83 to do the job. 83 fakes her death so she can enroll as a high school exchange student (from Canada) and adopts the name Megan.

There is nothing particularly wonderful about this film. I quite enjoy high school rom-coms, as well as teenage assassin movies, but despite having a star studded cast with legitimate talent, the storyline fell flat. The jokes were stale and the plot itself was recycled. A somewhat weaker version of Grosse Pointe Blank and Kick Ass 2.

The biggest issue the film faces is that it does not know what kind of film it wants to be. I suppose it would be classified as a coming of age comedy with action, but I rarely found myself laughing. Megan is a sweet character, and her relationship with her host family is endearing, but many of the “teen humor” missed the mark. Barely Lethal had the makings of an instant classic, but comedy is pretty hit or miss and when your audience is so specific and unaware of the film in general then it truly is barely lethal.

Barely Lethal is streaming now on the following services:
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