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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Assassination


Starring: Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Michael Rappaport and Reece Thompson
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 15 July 2013

Unpopular, Funke works on his high school newspaper. Everyone calls him Funky and not as a term of endearment. All that changes when he gets a scoop which indicates the school president stole the S.A.T papers. His story gains him instant popularity and the hand of the most beautiful girl in school. Funke would love to bask in his newly acquired glory, only problem is, he’s convinced that the president is innocent...

The Assassination (2008 - 1 hr, 29 min, 12 sec) is a high school comedy by first time feature director Brett Simon, from a script by Kevin Jakubowski and Tim Calpin. The disparate elements of the film work well in isolation and although the fusion of detective story, a coming of age and comedy seems an odd triumvirate, somehow they come together to create a quirky watchable film; and I do love quirky.

Although the film was shown at Sundance, circumstances mean that the film is a straight to DVD release, which is a shame as, while it’s not perfect, it’s a film that’s well worth catching up with. Similar to Brick (2005) in it environment Assassination takes a more comedic view of the story.

As the central figure, the whole film hinges on Reece Thompson's performance and he approaches the role channelling the spirit of Ferris Bueller. He’s not as cocky, but there is a central aspect of confidence to the character. He is able to move his character from loser sophomore geek to likable and confident hero.

The thing which most surprised me was the film's ability to hide, in plain sight, the final twist. High school becomes a pit of deceit and double dealing as we follow Funke, from his initial journalistic victory to his realisation that the president was probably innocent of the crime.

We follow him through his tenacious quest for the truth and even believe that he is suddenly with Francesca Franchini (Mischa Barton), the president's ex, but what is really going on? Most of the cast are able to stay this side of ridiculous, with a few exceptions, but then this is a film with a relatively inexperienced director and cast.

It’s always difficult with a screener to say what the final DVD will be like, certainly the picture was clear with audio options for either a stereo 2.0 or DTS 5.1 track, although you’re not going to get much more from the 5.1 track - apart from the soundtrack, it’s not that sort of film. Previous incarnations of the film have come with extras, so hopefully the British release will.


Charles Packer

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