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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 4.88%
Just Average: 17.07%
Pretty Crappy: 19.51%
Sucks: 24.39%

6 reviews, 46 user ratings

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by David Cornelius

"Or, how to take all the fun out of superspy lipstick lesbians in skirts."
1 stars

“D.E.B.S.” begins as a spoof, ends as a heartfelt comedy, and the journey from one to the other is even more confused than it would seem. This is a film that does not know what it wants to be, and so it rambles aimlessly, annoyingly. It wants to be funny, or, failing that, at least fun, and yet it is neither. It’s a long, hard slog to make it through this painful mess, and so I’ll warn those of you thinking of watching it that no, the gun-toting hotties in skimpy schoolgirl outfits do not, I repeat, do not make it worth the effort.

What I think the film is going for is a bit of lighthearted spy parody, somewhere in between the outright spoofdom of “Austin Powers” and the cheeky action-comedy of “Charlie’s Angels.” The film, based on a short film of the same name (which was a big hit at the 2003 Sundance, and which written and directed, as this feature-length version is, by newcomer Angela Robinson), involves a spy college of sorts where hot young model types train to be top secret agents. It’s Spy Babes, and it’s not meant to be taken seriously.

Which leads us to our main problem: Robinson takes it seriously. The gist of the plot is that the D.E.B.S. (don’t ask what it means - when we finally find out, it doesn’t make a lick of sense) are hot on the trail of master criminal/lipstick lesbian Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), who winds up falling in love with top trainee Amy (Sara Foster). Right about here is where the movie drops its spy spoofery, rolling head first into bland romantic comedy. All sense of camp is shoved aside awkwardly (reappearing even more awkwardly later) in order for these two young babes to profess their love while the director’s favorite songs play on the soundtrack.

(Speaking of which, the film’s use of music is downright terrible. We’re given, say, the Cure’s “Lovecats,” a great tune, to be sure, only the song doesn’t remotely fit the scene one bit. This happens quite frequently here - consider the lip-synch montage fueled by Erasure’s “A Little Respect” - suggesting that Robinson doesn’t have the ear for soundtrack building.)

Anyway. The transition from parody to straight (so to speak) is one that quite simply never works. The comedy never clicks in the early scenes (sample joke: a Russian uses the phrase “blowing me” instead of “blowing me off,” har har), and the lousy acting, shoddy scripting, and weak production values defeats the film’s intended kookiness. So we simply don’t care one smidge when the jokes are dropped in favor of tenderness - and we also don’t care when the jokes are picked back up at random times, whenever the movie remembers it’s supposed to be an action-comedy.

How ill-conceived is this movie? It ends with what is, essentially, the prom. There’s some big gala ball dropped in, some lame end-of-the-year prom substitute, as though Robinson felt that’s where the movie had to end - hey, all movies like this end at the prom, right? (Never mind that the film is supposed to be a friggin’ spy spoof, not a teen movie.) Of course, it makes no sense, and it’s a cheap way out of a messy plot. We even get a Big Speech made by our hero to the class of ’05, revealing once more how lazy everything gets. And if all this sounds lame in a review, it’s even more so in the actual movie.

(Here’s as good a spot as any to mention that both Holland Taylor and Michael Clarke Duncan pop up in minor roles, and the fact that neither want to be there can be seen on both faces. Considering that both have appeared in some major duds, to realize that they so very much just want to collect their check and go home should clue you in as to how depressingly awful this picture is.)

“D.E.B.S.” is essentially two steps away from being a Troma movie. It features most of the requirements: indistinguishable babes in skimpy outfits carrying guns; horrible attempts at humor (one character is supposed to be French, just so she can wear a beret and have a funny accent); cheap exaggeration in the name of cheaper entertainment. The film surely tries to appeal to fans of camp, goofball eccentricity, and obvious exploitation.

And yet it fails even here, for somewhere along the line, it also decides it wants to be a real movie, too. Robinson doesn’t know how to work it both ways, and her film’s desperate attempts to stay afloat while trying only lead to seasickness. This is another film that once again tries to be anything, and fails at everything.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8504&reviewer=392
originally posted: 06/05/05 20:36:28
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2004 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/02/11 Charles Tatum Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is 2 stars
2/21/11 art "A REAL CLASSIC",give me a BRAKE! 1 stars
5/17/10 Timmy Awful unfunny mess 1 stars
12/06/09 art THIS FILM SHOULD BE PUT ON A BONFIRE! 1 stars
7/18/09 JOZNEE I Love it. . . !!!!!!!EXCELLENT MOVIE..JORDANA BREWSTER lookSS Hot. 5 stars
6/25/09 Leslie A fun story and great casting! 5 stars
10/07/08 Enry Wiki SEEN TWICE! Funny,original, yet subversive in presenting seriously a girl2girl relationship 5 stars
8/12/07 Friducha This is Lez camp at its best - if you dont like it, you dont get it... 5 stars
7/26/07 Katrina The movie trailer was decieving, didn't know anything about this movie, kind of shocking 2 stars
6/03/07 gansta dis movie is de bomb 5 stars
5/07/07 Chris Cute flick! Unrealistic of course, but a great Friday night movie! Cute! 5 stars
10/10/06 amber I loved it! It was cute and fun! 5 stars
9/27/06 Phiuk Yiu This movie sucks, no good action scenes and Lucy Diamond is a joke. Lesbian kissing? Good 1 stars
8/19/06 harkharjit a film full of excitement nd irony but some action was lacking 5 stars
10/19/05 tabitha its mint i love it watch the film with the actresses comments its halerious 5 stars
10/10/05 Tom Burns Not that good, some very hot girls though are in it. 2 stars
9/25/05 a. kurlovs creative, packed w/fun and laughs, completely unpretentious, and the soundtrack is great. 5 stars
8/24/05 Dogfish Oh,my God,it is very fine indeed 5 stars
8/21/05 Kym i just love the movie. ^_^ Jordana and Sara so hot!. 5 stars
8/08/05 Nampetch I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/07/05 Tabata B. Iuspa i justy love the movie. its message ut pretty cool 5 stars
7/28/05 Kat It was a hoot - a happy funny silly spoof 5 stars
6/28/05 T It's silly, campy fun. You won't learn any Life Lessons, but eh. 5 stars
6/23/05 sally angwin this film opened the melbourne queer film festiival and it went down big time 5 stars
6/08/05 Lindi I loved this movie! It had action, comedy, and Jordana Brewster!! I couldn't ask for more! 5 stars
5/11/05 amin sax 1 stars
3/25/05 Greg Ursic I liked the tongue-in-cheek styling mixed with some serious messages. Great soundtrack! 3 stars
3/19/05 Mark McLeod funny sort of charlie's angel type film.. 4 stars
10/14/04 Denise Sudell Cute genre parody. Jordana Brewster steals every scene, and is great eye candy to boot. 3 stars
10/10/04 Nathalie I friggin loved it! 5 stars
9/22/04 Jenni Sahramaa Great! 5 stars
9/18/04 Grace Just Terrible! 1 stars
8/16/04 sara funny is the less thing i can say. 5 stars
7/01/04 jeffrey Cute & fun movie. I'm sure they won't mind being compared to Charlies Angels in High schoo 4 stars
6/23/04 Lauren Nissen wow...this movie was pretty bad 2 stars
6/15/04 Brent Usry A pathetic over rated copy of about every film lately. Charlies Angeles Specifically! 1 stars
5/02/04 kate shaffer great fun film! 5 stars
4/23/04 Cristiana The most funny movie I've seen lately 5 stars
2/18/04 Randy Excellent Movie 5 stars
2/12/04 Sergio Vitale Probably the first lesbian funny movie!!! 4 stars
1/29/04 Katie Swanson What are they guys talking about? THIS is FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY! 5 stars
1/27/04 Katie This movie is pretty funny its not award worthy but I think its better than most comedys 4 stars
1/26/04 JJ saw at sundance very funny likeable silly sweet spoof -go see this movie 5 stars
1/26/04 Jimmy Chang there are lesbians and there is Devon Aoki!! No ?s asked 5 stars
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  25-Mar-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 07-Jun-2005



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