Wednesday, May 14, 2008
D.E.B.S. the movie is a wonderful oddity. At first glance it is like Charlie's Angels, only less intellectual...
But then, like an optical illusion, you change viewpoint slightly, and suddenly it's a surreal comedy. Teenagers in schoolgirl uniforms who are deadly superspies, indeed!
Proof that it isn't your ordinary Hollywood big-canvas thriller:
1) It has a lesbian lovestory at its center!
2) And one of the main characters smoke!!
A couple of examples of the wonderfully satiric touches: the supervillain, Lucy Diamond (!), played by the gorgeous Gordana Brewster above, has to flee rapidly in a big convention center, and she stops to consult a diagram of the building...
And the same supervillain needs to find the girl she has the hots for, Amy, in an big building, so she pulls out a palm sized device, and on the screen magically appears a 3D wire diagram of the building. But not only that, rotating the diagram, red spots appears, the first two are labelled "not Amy", and the third one is labbeled "Amy". That's just a wonderful parody of the trappings of the spy thriller genre.
Sadly, to enjoy it you have to suffer the sight of pretty young women running around in very short skirts. Alas, everything good has a price.
By the way, what explains how it's untypical of a feature film is that it originated from a ten-minute film, which originated from a little comic book, and all done by the same woman, Angela Robinson. Even the feature film was done for $3.5M, which is ridiculous for any film and not the least a spy thriller, and it looks surprisingly good for it, in fact it looks good for a film of any budget.
Another of the actresses is Devon Aoki, a gorgeous girl who has the shortest skirt of the four DEBS. ("Mommy, why does he keep talking about skirts?" - "Shh, I think he's gay.") I suspect that she was actually the bread crumb trail I followed to this film, I think she has a part in Eureka [update: I was wrong]. In DEBS she affects a hilarious French accent and addictions to both nicotine and sex. Update: it turns out she's a supermodel, but I'm not ashamed of not knowing that, since neither was the director. Also, Devon herself came up with that great accent.
Update: don't miss the commentaries. The director is real film geek, and the girls are cute and funny. The actresses' comments vary between insightful/funny and "OMG, I love how your hair looks in this scene," so many times that they themselves start making fun of it.
Part 1009 in my "it's a prude, prude world" series: in a scene where the camera follows the girls going up a staircase, they had to add digital shadows so you couldn't see their panties... Come on!