Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Skulls (2000)

The Skulls

Written by John Pogue
Directed by Rob Cohen

Lucas McNamara...Joshua Jackson
Caleb Mandrake...Paul Walker
Litten Mandrake...Craig T. Nelson
Chloe...Leslie Bibb
“Every year at certain Ivy League colleges, an elite group of students is chosen to join the Secret Societies. Unlike fraternities, these Societies conceal their actions as they mold the leaders of the future. At least three U.S. Presidents are known to have been members. The most powerful Secret Society has always been The Skulls.”
Lucas McNamara is a townie, something looked deeply down upon by his wealthy yuppie puppy peers. He tries to fit in, cutting his hair, joining the rowing team, and beginning to hang out with a higher class of people than he’s used to. He requests membership in The Skulls, under the impression that they will pay his tuition.

The initiation seems like a harmless prank: steal the mascot of another society. But it inevitably leads to more menacing things.

Lucas and the quasi-legendary Caleb Mandrake both make the cut, being branded like cattle and rewarded with spiffy new Rolex watches. Amidst all the seduction, power, high priced gifts and gala hullabaloo, Lucas’s best friend dies and it looks like Caleb is involved, making us question his new brotherhood.

But as the tagline says, getting in is easy. Getting out is a killer, which means he has to drag his friends from the wrong side of the tracks into the mess to clean things up.

Overall, the basic premise of the film is overblown and highfalutin—a tight-knit group of rich bastards with eyes and ears everywhere, trusting their secrets to pretty much anyone who promises to keep them. The cast is strictly WB, but actually works in this case as The Skulls only accept the cream of the proverbial crop. Due to this, I would even be able to suspend my disbelief for the 90-minutes needed were it not for a few instances of cornball dialogue, lots of juvenile delinquent Mission Impossible action, a confused romantic subplot, Creed (!) on the soundtrack, and one extremely cheesy mustache on that dude from Coach.

Yeah, maybe it’s worth a viewing if you're half in the bag and looking for some pretty cheese. But was it really worthy of a sequel, much less two? I think not. Horror hipsters may appreciate (or be offended by) the action-painting robot named after famed artist Jackson Pollock.

106 Minutes
United States


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