This crazily slapdash mash-up of teen movie genres, '90s nostalgia, lightning-round sketch comedy, and pop-culture overload is cause for metaphoric double takes and spit takes thanks to its cleverly schizophrenic design. The jokes, shocks, and bewildering jumble of references are a deliberate attempt to leave its youthful target audience gasping for breath, even if they're three or four allusions and punch lines behind. The movie begins in high gear with the introduction of an unpleasantly clichéd high schooler who narrates the rigours of her lifestyle with the help of witty graphical elements, trick camera shots, and the nonstop patter of speed-dialed dialogue. That she's killed off even before the ingenious title sequence rolls is a hint at how the rest of the movie is going to play out. Detention
seems to be constantly breaking off into inexplicable tangents and dumb asides, though it's far from being clueless. But Clueless
is one of the many movies Detention
pays homage to. Others include, but are not nearly limited to, The Breakfast Club, Back to the Future
, the Scream
franchise, Heathers, Mean Girls, House Party, Freaky Friday
, and a slew of period music videos from the last decade, many of which were the work of Detention's
director and co-writer Joseph Kahn. There's really no way to describe the demented and often random plot points that coalesce into a hodgepodge of slacker comedy, slasher horror, and preposterous sci-fi, whether you can keep up with it or not. Among the large cast of stereotyped teens who inhabit the high school halls and suburban streets of Grizzly Lake are hipster dude Clapton (Josh Hutcherson), the brainy but bumbling Riley (Shanley Caswell), her popular blond best friend Ione (Spencer Locke), and the loser nerd Sander (Aaron David Johnson). Add to that a football hero who's channeling Jeff Goldblum's character from The Fly
, a drunken cougar mum, a couple of sexpot teachers, and a venal principal who has the good fortune of being portrayed by Dane Cook, and you have a mentally unbalanced movie that never slows down to inhale. Within it are various proms, science projects, wild parties, and a life-size grizzly bear mascot that reveals itself to be key to the whole story. Detention
is one continuous expulsion of absurdist hot air that flirts, farts, and foams at the mouth between an unending series of time shifts, flashbacks, flash-forwards, and flashes sideways. Almost everyone dies at some point, but they somehow all end up very much alive in a world that thrives on slick meta analysis of movie and pop-culture history. Though it seems off-the-cuff, there's actually a great deal of precision in the story of Grizzly Lake High and the 20-year lead-up to how its students and staff ward off apocalypse. Just don't try to figure out what's really going on. --Ted Fry
Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook and Spencer Locke star in Detention
, a hipster, teen horror-comedy, in which the students of Grizzly Lake must survive their final year of high school.
Standing in their way is Cinderhella, a slasher-movie killer who has seemingly come to life and is preying on the school’s student body. As the clock ticks and the bodies pile up, the likely suspects are embroiled in a race against time to stop Cinderhella and ultimately save the world … if only they can get out of detention.Bonus Features- “Cheat Mode: The Unbelievably Mind Melting Making of Detention” Featurette – provides detailed insights from cast and crew on the making of the film, as well as trivia throughout.