Man, I just can’t help but think a huge opportunity was wasted with Austin Chick’s Girls Against Boys. With a title like that, and a synopsis that includes the phrase “deadly way of dealing with the opposite sex,” I thought I’d be in for some sexy genre fun about pissed off women who go around murdering misogynistic men for shits and giggles. Maybe some pulp story uniting women against the plight that is the male gender, making us feel inadequate against two feminist icons punishing the wicked? Unfortunately that wasn’t my luck though, as I would have taken anything instead of the movie Chick delivered.
Girls Against Boys is as dull and soulless of a genre movie that you’re going to find in 2013, really existing as a perfect storm of thrown away potential. From the extremely weak story to lifelessly unlikable characters, Chick’s idea is carried out in the most lazily executed manner. There’s never really any tension or suspense throughout the hate-filled journey of our lead characters Shae (Danielle Panabaker) and Lu (Nicole LaLiberte), and their motives never paint them as justice-seekers or female superheros. There’s nothing but a lot of pointless negative feelings created in this universe where most guys are assholes, being nothing but a sad, clichéd stereotype dreamed up by some wounded female elbow deep in a gallon of Rocky Road flavored Häagen-Dazs.
Out of my hopes for “sexy genre fun,” the only word that remains relevant is “sexy.” Stars Danielle Panabaker and Nicole LaLiberte provide the necessary sex-appeal to start off the “smokin’ females vs. scumbag men” scenario, showing legs for days like in the picture above. But past the physical attraction, neither character is relatable or watchable, providing an excruciatingly boring watch.
Lu has the pleasure of playing mentor when she finds Shae emotionally battered and beaten from two encounters with overly aggressive men, convincing Shae killing all the men involved will make her feel better. Shae, still vulnerable, goes along with the idea after Lu doesn’t give her much choice, getting payback on the men who wronged her. It’s all well and good, but after the initials plans are laid, personality problems hinder the story mightily, starting with Shae’s acceptance of murder. Chick’s story wasn’t funny or schlocky enough for me to believe Shae could just accept becoming a serial killer to feel better, so her participation had me laughing the whole time.
Lu wasn’t much better either, created with this badass mentality which tried to spin her as unforgiving and psychotic, but I actually believe Chick made her too in control of her situations. This leads to my lack of suspense comment from before, but every attack was entirely too easy for Lu, as she flipped a switch from horny bartender to crazed killer without batting an eyelash, and she never has to struggle with her victims. Just like with Shae, Chick’s material isn’t genre friendly enough to portray such a demented character in a real life setting, and Lu’s character isn’t real enough to seriously watch terrorize that real life setting.
Then there’s the apparent lack of police enforcement and actual repercussions, as Shae and Lu leave a few bodies in the wake of their violence, but are never shown cleaning up or disposing of the evidence. We get some wrap up slide show at the end where Chick shows us the now pristine locations their bloody victims once laid, but without any indication of how or when, it’s impossible to believe these two went all Mr. Clean and disposed of the bodies properly, but there’s no way of knowing because this part is ignored at every single crime scene. Again, Chick just perpetuates his own story by leaving out information so the film can obliviously trot along in the least enjoyable ways possible.
You wouldn’t know it, but thanks to Austin Chick’s regrettably simple and thoughtless story, Girls Against Boys was doomed from the get go. It all starts off horribly slow, painting men as these barbaric cavemen who don’t care in the least about common decency, fades into this “I am woman, hear me roar” type of boring killer thriller about two girls who just morph into trained killers, and then ends as a dull drama with zero explanation. Overall boring, vapid, and devoid of any entertainment, this is a genre movie which pays no respect to the genre itself. What could have been something fun and off-the-wall ends up being overly serious and lacking any necessary explanation. Sorry, I don’t even think Lorena Bobbitt could get behind this failed attempt at pro-female exploitation.
Girls Against Boys is a pro-female exploitation flick that completely misses the mark on being pro-female, exploitation, and most importantly, a good movie.