Barely Lethal is the type of movie which, due to gun violence, cursing, and mild sexuality, is just barely a little too risqué to be something you’d expect to see premiere on Nickelodeon or, at its mildest moments, the Disney Channel.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
For most of Megan’s (Hailee Steinfeld) life she has lived within the Prescott School for Girls. A place where orphaned girls become train to become military spies, as well as learn how to not become attached to anything or anyone in order to be the best soldiers they can be. However, being that Megan, codename 83, has desires to live the life of a real teenaged girl, she decides to take an opportunity to fake her death and attempt to live a normal life. Something which neither her peer Heather, codename 84 (Sophie Turner); her trainer Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson); or Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba); seemingly will make easy.
Like many movies of this ilk, there are a lot of ways the film could have been better than it was. That is, if only it had depth and explored the darkness of the situation a bit. After all, with Megan and Heather’s parents being dead, as well as Victoria’s, there lies something which will haunt them forever. Then of course there is the issue of their relationship with Hardman, a cold father figure who trains them to be detached killers, who aren’t even trained to become fond of him. Making it so when Megan escapes, truly there should have been something greater given than what was seen.
However, rather than this being anything complex, instead we are given a movie in which the villain, Knox, is basic, predictable, and performed in such a way that it seems like the perfect role for Jessica Alba; you are given hardly any sort of backstory which could have made this film truly comedic, dramatic, or anything but bland; and to summarize the main issue of the movie: it uses so many overdone storylines that it makes you wonder why anyone involved would put time and effort into this project.
Overall: Skip It
Call me what you will, but I was hoping that a movie with Jessica Alba balanced out by Samuel L. Jackson, Sophie Turner, and Hailee Steinfeld could have been decent. However, I keep forgetting that Samuel L. Jackson is in as many bad movies as he is in good ones, and as good as Game of Thrones and True Grit are, the acting choices of both Steinfeld and Turner aren’t what you would call “quality” for the most part. But, as for the film, the reason to skip it is because this is a throwaway film that I can’t imagine anyone, but super fans of those involved, ever taking the time to see, and be bored out of their minds by.