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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24%
Worth A Look: 6%
Just Average32%
Pretty Crappy: 10%
Sucks: 28%

4 reviews, 26 user ratings

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John Tucker Must Die
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Peter Sobczynski

"Lacks The Simple Dramatic Purity Of The Poster"
1 stars

For those of you who caught “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”–based on the box-office count, that would be about sixteen of you (half of them critics who were shut out of the few advance screenings and the other half fetishists who sit through anything in order to see Uma Thurman in a cape and tights)–and walked away thinking, “Gee, that film was unfunny and misogynistic–but just not unfunny and misogynistic enough,” “John Tucker Must Die” (oddly enough, brought to you by the very same studio) should prove to be a more-than-satisfactory night at the movies. For the rest of us, this is a wildly unpleasant and unfunny mess populated by a cast of characters so relentlessly bubble-headed and vacuous that when the film reaches the inevitable scene involving the speaking sage words of wisdom, they wind up being delivered by none other than Jenny McCarthy.

Set in a typical Hollywood version of a typical high school–a campus that is larger than most state universities and populated by students clearly in their mid-twenties–the film centers on BMOC John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe), a hunky basketball star with a roving eye for virtually every one of his female classmates. Currently, he is simultaneously and secretly dating three girls–the slutty class braniac (Arielle Kebbel), the slutty class cheerleader (Ashanti) and the slutty class activist (Sophia Bush)–and is able to get away with it because a.) the girls all hang in different social circles and b.) the girls are all morons. Eventually, the three are thrown together, the secret comes out and they wind up getting into a knock-down, drag-out brawl on the volleyball court that is only amusing if you find the sight of girls getting slammed in the cervix with volleyballs to be irresistibly amusing. After the swelling goes down, the three unite and decide that for his sins against them, John Tucker must indeed die.

Much like the film itself, however, the three immediately lose their nerve and decide instead to devote all of their time and energy to destroying him socially (while conveniently overlooking their own complicity) through elaborate efforts that produce few tangible results and fewer laughs. First, the slutty activist convinces him to pose as a male model, not telling him it is for a herpes ad (apparently the sight of teens covered in cold sores is meant to be hilarious) and then the cheerleader replaces his muscle-building powder with estrogen, reducing him to a sensitive-nippled wreck on the court who weeps about how no one cares about his needs. Both of these plans backfire, making John more popular than ever before, and the girls finally hit upon the best way to destroy him–by breaking his heart in the same way that he did to them. To that end, they recruit anonymous new girl Kate (Brittany Snow) and make her over into the ideal girlfriend with the goal of making John fall desperately in love with her and then having her kick him to the curb.

With a title like “John Tucker Must Die,” you might reasonably expect a certain edge to the proceedings along the lines of the teen-angst-with-a-body-count classic “Heathers” (and it cannot be a coincidence that the slutty cheerleader is named Heather). For all I know, the original screenplay by Jeff Lowell may have been darker and more satirical–though the fact that his previous writing credit was for the TV series “Inside Schwartz,” I kind of doubt it–but while the characters may want John Tucker to die, it is the movie itself that comes off as dead. There is not one character here that you would want to spend more than five minutes with, let alone ninety–John is a one-dimensional himbo, Kate is a mopey simp and the trio of ex-girlfriends are as grating on the ears as they are easy on the eyes–and the situations are so tired that you wonder how the cast and director Betty Thomas (demonstrating none of the comic flair that she brought to “Private Parts” or even “I Spy,” for that matter) managed to drag themselves to the set each day to hammer out scenes that we have all seen a thousand times before.

You probably won’t be shocked to discover, for example, that Kate finds herself beginning to genuinely fall for John or that her popular pose causes her to alienate her former friends, mostly John’s younger and slightly-less-hunky brother (Penn Badgely) or that everyone’s secrets are revealed in a big public situation in front of a strangely attentive crowd of strangers inexplicably hanging on to every word. These are the kind of scenes that are so predictable that anyone in the audience could write in their sleep and it is doubtful that their efforts would be any less impressive than Lowell’s. Of course, it is doubtful that most audience members would have the deeply disturbed attitude towards women that is displayed here in virtually every scene–for all their so-called empowerment, the girls in the film are all nothing more than lightly-dressed dimwits whose lives apparently entirely revolve around a guy who has demonstrated time and again that he isn’t worth their time or effort. By comparison, the babes in those Axe body spray ads are fully-formed characters with rich and complex dramatic arcs.

I will admit that my interest perked up a little bit with the introduction of Jenny McCarthy, a babe who, as the few of you who caught “Dirty Love” know, has a taste for rude and no-holds-barred humor. I just naturally assumed that she would somehow become involved in the plot to destroy John and ramp the comedy up into new and unexpectedly weird directions. Instead, she is shoehorned into a relatively straight subplot as Kate’s mother that is recycled almost completely from that hideous Hilary Duff-Heather Locklear monstrosity “The Perfect Man” and the only real laughs that she inspires are the inadvertent ones that occur when you start doing the mental subtraction in order to figure out when she was supposed to have given birth to her kid in the first place. To bring in someone with McCarthy’s oddly endearing and unique gifts as a comedienne was probably the sole smart idea in the entire production of “John Tucker Must Die” and to then never allow her a chance to display any of them is a complete squandering of resources in a film that has precious few to spare.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14887&reviewer=389
originally posted: 07/28/06 00:09:10
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User Comments

8/23/10 Jordan The end made me mad. A cake fight and all is forgiven, sure... 2 stars
1/08/09 Anonymous. john tucker deserved it. 3 stars
5/15/08 Karrie Millheim cute movie. guy cheats and the girls get revenge 4 stars
3/02/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
2/19/07 sun shine This movie sucks 5 stars
1/25/07 Sugarfoot John Tucker must die, but so do the producers as well. 1 stars
12/30/06 tanya hernadez i loved it, the producers sure made fortunes on this one!! 5 stars
12/14/06 Samantha This is a moive you can watch over and over..YEAH its just that great 5 stars
11/18/06 Daniel Brown This movie sucks.Why couldn't he just dump her before she dumped him 1 stars
11/14/06 ava hilarious the best 5 stars
11/12/06 cody I saw at friend house, it had lot funny moments, but nothing new man. 3 stars
10/31/06 sofie best film eva - beta than mean girls 5 stars
10/30/06 ES blah-blah-blah no redeeming qualities, one fun moment 2 stars
10/04/06 Baldeadly This was like 'Mean Girls' gone wrong. It was funny and I would defo watch it again 4 stars
9/28/06 Ryann I thought it was a good deminstration of how high school can be.. the plot wasn't exciting 4 stars
9/14/06 Courtney This was the best movie i have seen in a while 5 stars
9/13/06 Lucy Lymonhurst Preposterous,but not enough so for a film whose voice of wisdom is played by Jenny McCarthy 2 stars
9/01/06 Mr Bayg More like, "butt sucka must cry!" ...except for the poontang picture. 2 stars
8/17/06 Tiffany havent seen it yet, but really want to. 5 stars
8/13/06 Corey. Hilarious. Easy on the eyes. :P I love Jesse Metcalfe. 5 stars
8/05/06 Mase Desperatley wants to be Mean girls, closer to the dredful "she's the man". watchable i gues 3 stars
8/05/06 Tonya I loved very funny 5 stars
8/04/06 Jessica really good for teenagers 5 stars
8/04/06 lola well i think it was a great movie since jesse is a flippen sexy!! 5 stars
8/02/06 Eddie robertson Havnt seen it yet but it looks awsome 5 stars
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  28-Jul-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Nov-2006



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