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John Tucker Must Die - Review

John Tucker Must Die

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary By Director Betty Thomas; Featurettes – ‘On the Rebound’, ‘GRRRL Power’, ‘Cutting with Jesse Metcalfe’ And ‘Kodiak Yearbook’; Deleted Scenes; Music Video – ‘Hey Kid’ By Matt Willis.

JESSE Metcalfe, the hedge-trimming hunk who sent Eva Longoria’s heart into a flutter in Desperate Housewives, gets his big screen break in John Tucker Must Die, a formulaic teen movie that hints at being a lot better than it actually is.

From its name alone, viewers could be fooled into thinking that Betty Thomas’ movie offers a gutsy variation on Heathers or Mean Girls.

But a little too much sugar-coated sentiment means that John Tucker’s enemies tug at the heart-strings rather than aiming anything too much further below.

Arielle Kebbel, Sophia Bush and Ashanti play three ex-girlfriends of High School romeo John Tucker (Metcalfe) who set up their former lover to fall for the innocent charms of new girl in town Kate (Brittany Snow) so that they can watch her break his heart in return.

But the plan threatens to backfire when Kate and John develop feelings for each other and the vengeful trio must pull out all the stops to ensure their plan succeeds.

To complicate matters still further, Kate also begins to fall for her chemistry lab partner, Scott (Penn Badgley) who just happens to be John’s younger brother.

And she has to contend with the wreckless affairs of her single mother Lori (Jenny McCarthy), who always moves away from an area once a new romance has faded.

Taken at face value, there’s nothing really wrong with John Tucker Must Die when considering the market it’s aimed at.

Young girls hoping to swoon over Metcalfe with his top off are given plenty to drool over (including the sight of him in a thong), the bad girl politics are suitably bitchy and the developing romance between Kate and Scott is suitably sweet.

It’s just that proceedings feel hopelessly predictable and seem content to borrow from countless other movies rather than coming up with anything truly original or daring itself.

Aside from Heathers and Mean Girls, there’s even a nod to more recent fare such as The Perfect Man (starring Hilary Duff) with regard to the back story involving Kate’s mom – and believe me, no one would want to go down that path again!

Still, if you’re young enough not to let such things bother you and fancy some throwaway fun, John Tucker Must Die will probably tick all the right boxes for you.

Read our Jesse Metcalfe interview

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Certificate: 12A
Running time: 90mins