tek's rating: ½

D.E.B.S. (PG-13)
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Caution: slight spoilers.

Okay. I need to say that it's impossible to properly explain anything about this movie without giving away some spoilers about the plot. But a surprising twist comes pretty early in the movie, and it's important to the entire plot, so whatever. But first, let's set up a more basic premise.... The SATs have a hidden test within them that measures aptitude for qualities like lying, cheating, and fighting, or whatever. To find people who would make good spies. (Wow, in retrospect, this kind of reminds me of one of the Chunin exams on Naruto.) Then they get recruited for a secret academy where the students are called D.E.B.S. (Discipline, Energy, Beauty, Strength). The movie centers on a squad of four D.E.B.S. The squad captain is Max, and another member of the team is her best friend Amy, who is famous for getting a perfect score on the hidden test. Although none of the students really know what the test tests... for, exactly. Then there's a girl named Janet, who's very eager to earn her stripes. And a girl named Dominique (played by Devon Aoki, the main reason I wanted to see this movie). She um... smokes a lot and affects being French. Throughout the movie, everyone's looking forward to "End Game," which seems to be a sort of prom/graduation, or something.

But meanwhile, the squad is assigned to spy on a master criminal named Lucy Diamond, who has just reappeared after being underground for a couple years. She's meeting a Russian assassin, Ninotchka Kaprova, but... and here's the first big spoiler... it turns out to be a blind date, set up by Lucy's main henchman/best friend, Scud. Apparently Lucy went underground after having her heart broken by some other woman. And things don't go well with Ninotchka. Meanwhile, Amy has recently broken up with her boyfriend Bobby, who's also apparently a student at the academy. (I think male students were called "D.U.D.E.S." or something.) He still loves her, but she doesn't love him. And then she has an interesting encounter with Lucy, who falls for Amy, but disappears before the other D.E.B.S. show up. And then Amy becomes famous for being the only person to face Lucy and live to tell about it.

Later, Lucy breaks into Amy's dorm room and gets her to go out with her, because Amy was writing a thesis on Lucy, but there wasn't much that was actually known about her. So this... whatever. But um, Janet ends up tagging along, and befriends Scud. And she has to keep Amy's secret. Then the head of the academy, I guess, Mrs. Petrie, makes Amy the new squad captain, which bugs Max. And later, while once again chasing down Lucy, Amy gets separated from the others, and takes off with Lucy, and then the whole school starts searching everywhere for the "kidnapped" Amy. Who's actually starting to fall in love with Lucy, herself. Eventually Max, Dominique, and Bobby also learn the truth about Amy and Lucy, and so does Mrs. Petrie. But Max convinces them not to tell anyone else, and gets Amy to go along with a cover story about her having been kidnapped. But, Scud convinces Lucy to go straight (er, give up crime), and return everything she's stolen, in an attempt to win back Amy.

Well. I never expected to like this movie much. Okay, it had some hotties, but other than that it looked like it'd be pretty dumb. And I'm not saying it's not kind of dumb, but mostly it seems dumb in the beginning. After the twist comes, it starts getting better, more interesting. And funny, but also rather dramatic (though still clearly a comedy). Anyway, I don't know if I'll ever feel a need to watch it again, but... I think I'll hold onto the DVD just in case. It really did end up being better than I expected. And that's all I can think to say at the moment.


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