Saturday, March 3, 2007

D.E.B.S.

Joe told me that D.E.B.S. is near the top of his list of favorite films. I had never seen it, so I figured I'd watch it and see what all the fuss was about. Coming into it, I didn't think I'd like it too much. The premise is as such:
Four hot schoolgirls are in a crime-fighting sorority/secret agent group known as D.E.B.S (which according to Wikipedia stands for Discipline, Energy, Beauty, and Strength, although in the movie I don't think they included the "S" in the acronym). The best spy in the group, Amy (played by a super-hot Sara Foster) breaks up with her boyfriend in the beginning of the movie, and then falls for the uber-villainess Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster from Fast and the Furious) that Amy and her cohorts are supposed to bring to justice. Sounds kind of questionable, right?



I ended up actually enjoying it. It is obviously a love story at heart, but there were a lot of funny parts in it and the dialogue was solid for a parody of this caliber. Some of my favorite aspects were:
1. In Lucy Diamond's lair, there is a sign that reads "A GOOD D.E.B. IS A DEAD D.E.B."
2. Suction cups were used to scale a wall at one point.
3. Lucy Diamond leaves (gasp) diamonds as her calling card. But she seems to have a huge supply of them and just throw handfuls of them around at will.
4. Lucy is spurned by Amy at one time in the film and steps up to her super powered laser ray and says that she is going to sink Australia to make herself feel better. She is stopped by her right hand man, whose name is Scud.
5. The following quotes -
"Love is harder than crime."
"Why aren't you killing me?"
"This isn't the Girl Scouts - this is espionage!"
Lucy: "I didn't even want to be a criminal. I wanted to be a pirate."
Amy: "Pirates ARE criminals."

I think it's important to be clear that this is definitely a parody of spy films and not merely a horrible attempt at making a "women's spy movie" or anything like that. There were blatant jabs taken at the genre, as evidenced by a certain scene in which Homeland Security and the D.E.B.S. are suspended like 70 feet above the floor of a restaurant (but still inside the building) in mechanical swing chairs which they can move laterally or vertically at their command. Another outlandish poke at the secret agent genre is the use of teleportation by the adults in the film, who are the higher-ups in the D.E.B.S. department. They seem to appear and disappear at any time in any place, fully materializing and interacting with the characters and their environment, and then disappearing as if they were a hologram the whole time. But perhaps most outlandish of all is a bank robbery scene where the D.E.B.S. are trapped in the vault and suddenly huge metal spikes come out of the ceiling and the room starts to close in. The obvious question being, "How did Lucy Diamond and her cronies manage to take out all the armed guards at this massive bank and still have time to install spikes and motors behind the ceiling in the short time before the girls arrived on the scene?" All this just contributes to the fact that D.E.B.S. doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's the main reason it works so well.

Although director Angela Robinson is openly lesbian and showcases that through the script (she wrote and edited the movie, too), she's not overly feminist and the movie isn't political at all. This served to make it that much more enjoyable, because you are left to feel for the characters and hope that the two lovers get together in the end.

The camera work didn't particularly stand out in the movie, but the music played a pretty key role. I normally don't notice music too much in films, especially when they employ actual songs and not sweeping orchestral tunes, but D.E.B.S. did a nice job of placing the right song at the right point in the film. At one point there is some chick punk rock blaring in the background at a turning point in Amy and Lucy's relationship, and the lyrics scream out what they are too shy at this point to say to each other: "Take me to the backseat!" Another noticeable point came at the necessary separation of the two main characters in any love story about two thirds of the way through, when Amy was pondering life and her situation and "If everything's just the way it should be, why am I still hungry?" plays softly in the background, clearly mirroring her thought process.

Meagan Good (Brick, You Got Served) was well-cast as the jealous best friend and heir to the D.E.B.S. throne. Devon Aoki (Sin City) and some other girl who I'm too lazy to look up could have been replaced by anyone of the correct age and not been missed. Jordana Brewster didn't exactly pad her resume with fantastic acting, but it was passable enough, and she looked good, which was all that was necessary for a film like this. If you don't take it too seriously, D.E.B.S. is sure to entertain you and quench any need you have for hi-tech lesbian spy movies along the way. (Note: The film is rated PG-13, so don't let the lesbian stuff 1. scare you into not seeing it or 2. be your only reason for seeing it.) Until next time...

2 comments:

Joey Joe said...

GREATEST. MOVIE. EVER.

Jason Alexander said...

I really did get a feel for the characters...A good feel. I mean, come on, two girls kiss and have sex, how can you not? And the PG-13 rating doesn't scare me from lesbian action, it just intices me to try and find more by any legal, or illegal, means necessary.