Monday, May 26, 2008
Charlie Bartlett - the 'Kat Dennings is lovely' review
Charlie Bartlett (15)
Dir. Jon Poll
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
The rapturous crowd are calling for me, I step into the spotlight and the anticipation is palpable. An expectant hush falls so I deliver my maxim: ‘Hi, my name is Charlie Bartlett and if there's one thing I want you to remember tonight, it's that you are not alone.’
Charlie Bartlett (Anton ‘this kid is going to be a major star’ Yelchin) might only be 17 but he’s wise beyond his years in such a cool way that can only really happen in movies (see Rushmore or Heathers for more proof of this).
So rich kid Charlie has been expelled from every private school in the State – not through failing grades but due to his somewhat ‘less than legal’ side ventures such as manufacturing and selling quality fake Ids for his fellow students. Now he faces a tougher challenge in having to fit in with the distinctly less privileged kids of Western Summit High – a lesson that hits home hard on his first day as he is happy slapped and dunked in the toilet by school bully Murphey (Tyler Hilton).
But Charlie is a resourceful chap and before you can say ‘useful plot device’ he has not just won over Murphey (by cutting him in on his selling prescription drugs to classmates racket) but also captured the heart of the Principal’s daughter (the awesome and rather lovely Kat Dennings). What follows is a riot of superb teen antics, laced with real emotion and held together with an irrepressibly fun script. Robert ‘Iron Man’ Downey Jr. is excellent as Charlie’s nemesis Principal Gardner and although ‘High School angst’ is a well-trodden cinematic path, Charlie Bartlett manages to be hip, savvy and altogether better than you might expect.
Director Jon Poll shows that he’s at home directing (after earning his shot by editing films such as Meet the Parents and Austin Powers). But with his straight talking / from the heart student consultation service (backed up by the prescription drug dealing) Yelchin makes Bartlett into a cinematic icon who can stand with pride alongside the likes of Juno from earlier this year. The future is bright for this young leading man – with parts in Star Trek and Terminator 4 lined up, I’d even be up to see some more Charlie Bartlett action if as Murphey tells one of the kids he’s filmed himself beating up ‘I'll see you in the sequel!’
DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):
Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööö (7)
+ Heartfelt teen musings
Tasty Action: öööööö (6)
+ Some cool scenes but its more drama than crunching fight movie
Gratuitous Babeness: öööööööö (8)
+ Kat Dennings is very very delicious!!
Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
- Some people haven’t taken Charlie to heart
Comedic Value: ööööööö (7)
+ Very funny in places!!
Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
+ Essential viewing for anyone who is / was a teen!
Liable to make you:
"hug a hoodie – well if it’s Kat Dennings at least! (see below)"
DM Poster Quote:
“People like you are the reason people like me need medication…"
"Kat Dennings -gorgeous and talented, sexy and curved to perfection!"