Ugh, we’re so done, mate. We don’t wanna hear about being prom queen ever again.
Okay. “Senior Year” from Netflix. Let’s do this.
Stephanie Conway (Angourie Rice) wants it all. Popularity. The hottest quarterback. Being captain of the award-winning cheerleading squad. She wants to be the one to beat. As she’s nearing the final level of high school, there’s only one thing left to do: claim the prom crown.
The track seems to have been laid out but disaster strikes when Stephanie falls off a pyramid. No, not the ones you can find in Egypt, but rather a human one that forms during a dance routine. Of course, after that mishap, it’s blackout time.
20 years later, a 37-year-old Stephanie wakes up in a hospital bed. Discovering that she’s been in a coma all these years, she realises that she has much to catch up on. The quarterback she dated in school, Blaine (Justin Hartley), is now a salesman and still looking smackingly good. But he’s now married to her high school rival, Tiffany (Zoe Chao). Her good friend, Martha, is working at Harding High as the principal. And another good friend, Seth, is also working at the school as a librarian. OK. Coincidences. Yay.
Determined to stay relevant, Stephanie pleads with Martha to enrol her back in Harding High despite her age, claiming that physically, she might be nearing 40, but mentally, she’s still 17. Wanting to make up for lost time, she becomes a social media star, slays it, and reinstates her position as Cheer Captain. But most of all, she still wants to be prom queen. Nevertheless, can she still maintain all that in this cruel age of social media?
You know, there’s another film out there that had this exact same premise. The 2007 film “Kickin’ It Old School” starring Jamie Kennedy and Michael Rosenbaum also featured a lead slipping into a coma after performing a dangerous flip during a breakdance competition. Waking up a decade, or maybe decades later, there is a need to compensate and return to former glory. There is that quest for redemption.
Indeed, movies like these have to play the fish-out-of-water card well. And yeah, “Senior Year” takes it to town with pop-culture references from the early 2000s. We get “Sk8ter Boi”, Kelly Clarkson, and some mentions of Tamagotchis. You know, the standard life we had in the O-Os. Nonetheless, that’s where the fun stops.
Needless to say, the amount of cringe and slap-your-forehead moments in the film is uncountable. Of course, one of the things that would be brought up is the notion of being politically correct. Don’t get us wrong, the idea is right. However, the entire delivery of it all feels like it is being said by try-hard kindergarteners rather than senior high-schoolers.
The humour and dialogue here is consistently out-of-place and so bland. It’s like eating plain boiled ramen without any of the garnish and flavouring. Tasteless, soggy, and overall, it just makes us wanna gag. Look at all of the images from here, mate. We mean, why do all of the characters look as if they’re so done?
The fact that the studio is mentioned in passing after the script publicly makes a joke of sponsored namedrops is one of the most ironic pieces of bul**** that we’ve seen in recent times. Imagine one of those creators on YouTube that deliberately electrocute or smash their balls or hit themselves with a hammer all for the sake of content. Seriously, don’t hurt yourself guys. We don’t need that.
At one point, the characters watch the 1998 feature, “Deep Impact”. Well, one way “Senior Year” could have had a better impact (pun intended) is if they had emulated the formula from said movie. You know the part where the asteroid hits the Earth’s crust and a massive tsunami wipes out cities? Yeah, that plot point would have worked really well for this movie.
The only scene that probably utilised its absurdities to the best effect was when Stephanie’s father (Chris Parnell) did the dad talk with Seth, who had just come to pick Steph up for prom. Having a 70-year-old do that stare-down intimidation with a fully-grown adult was an oddity we never thought we’d witness but it worked.
Now that we think about it, this has much in common with another Netflix feature, “Metal Lords”. Let’s do a list here, shall we?
- Cringey dialogue? Check.
- A random established musician cameo? Check.
- Casting one of the “It” remake kids? You got it.
Well, we don’t need AI to predict what the next feature might hold. Let’s use our psychic powers here. Hmm, think… We see Alex Lawther… playing a high school nerd with his best friend, Jack Dylan Grazer… And then along the way, they get bullied by jocks. Through sheer will, they decide to beat the bullies by taking up a sport… uhh, football.
We’ll probably get a WTF cameo by Christiano Ronaldo and maybe Hayley Williams will pop up to sing the Star-Spangled Banner. And all these happen while our characters lose the final match 3-2, but due to evidence of cheating, the winning team is disqualified and the nerds win… Yeah, that seems about right.
We’ll see how this plays out. We know, Netflix. We know.
“Senior Year” is currently streaming on Netflix.
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