When a seemingly fun party goes horribly awry, a group of teenagers must decide their fates.
“Don’t you get gangsta with me, dog.“
“Complicity” impressed me as much as when during my military service some officer yelled to me that I would get weekend detention if I didn’t clean a cobblestone road behind the barracks more thoroughly every morning. So … it didn’t. I was more impressed by an immense American “Drill Sergeant” who enlisted me to go on an nightly shooting practice (because I was part of the medical department and was responsible for handing out cotton wool to prevent hearing damage) with a few “marines “originally from Hawaii and now stationed in Germany, where the warheads were kept. I was particularly impressed that night when that huge sergeant started to yell at his men that they were a bunch of “losers” and that they were not as good as “The Medic” because I had a better hit ratio after shooting with an M-16 (I had already shot with just about any Belgian crap gun, so when he asked whether I wanted to try, I jumped at the chance). The word “lethal” was used several times and he asked if I would join The United States Army as a sniper. This has actually nothing to do with this movie, but it’s fun to tell it once more.
It starts as a typical high school story. Movies that take place in and around an American high school are always very interesting. Not because these are masterpieces (Besides “The Breakfast Club“, “Class of 1984” and “Pretty in Pink“), but because there’s always a club of stereotypes in it. Similarly here. First you have the two class bimbos Shanon Erdman (Shoshana Bush) and Kim (Heather Hemmens) who are as fake as a rubber duck and have an IQ level of a typical kiwi. Usually those Beauty Queens are more concerned about themselves and aware of their irresistible beauty (the outside of course). And their skills are limited to the use of a smartphone (while using a limited vocabulary like “OMG” and “No way”) and the organization of meaningless parties. Obviously, one of the two has a boyfriend Kurt (Logan Huffman), the quarterback and local “jock” who excels in throwing an egg-shaped ball but whose brains largely descended into his biceps. And just like a remoras that accompanies a white shark, there’s also a teammate (preferably a fat black dude) Dwayne (TJ Wilkins) who follows this dumb muscle everywhere. The only reason they are friends is the fact that they happen to play in the same team. This argument is even confirmed in this movie.
Another one who can’t be missed is the Goth chick. Normally it’s an attractive girl who’s still looked at as special because of her alternative looks (a black swirling dress like Siouxsie, raven black hair and an overuse of mascara). And of course she has a hate relationship with the barbies from school. In this movie there’s a little deviation from this pattern because Lacy (Haley Ramm) apparently seems to be accepted. What else is she doing at Erdman’s place ? And then you also need some weirdo. This part is for Mica (August Emerson). A kind of Brian Molko who occurs to be an androgynous person and he’s accepted by the school twats probably because he has some taste for fashion.
And last but not least, we have the loner Dylan (Josh Janowicz) who’s doing his utmost best to isolate himself and therefore gets even more in the spotlight. In most cases he’s a person who scores reasonably good grades at school but because of certain circumstances his grades are going down. Usually this individual is screwed in the end. The only thing missing are a bunch of nerds and geeks. They were not explicitly portrayed here. But if you look at some visitors of the party, there are still some that I would categorize under this type. And then you have the “wannebes” like Rachel (Jenna Boyd) who would do anything to be part of those who are popular. In most High School movies this range of characters comes along.
The content of “Complicity” feels as if it’s a thesis of a psychology student that deals with the interaction between individuals, who differ in personality and origin, during a stressful situation and how they seek for an acceptable solution. If this movie is the end result of this student’s hard work, I would definitely flunk him because the end result is rather meager. No stress, no surprise, no unexpected twist, no startling end. Briefly: the bimbos are organizing a party because the parents arrive the next day, apparently everyone is invited (even the outsiders), some flirting goes out of control and there is even a so called sexual assault (although this isn’t really proven), they end the party and things get out of hand, a fairly unpleasant problem arises and then the blaming and self protection starts. In the end the problem solves itself eventually.
So don’t expect in-depth psychological developments. It’s just a childish yes-no game and everyone is trying to save his own ass. Then it becomes completely hilarious as the brainless beauty queens start to converse in a deep philosophical way like Shannon at a given time. Kim also made her contribution in the end by demonstrating that she understood the deeper meaning of parataxis, as used by Allen Ginsberg, and she applied this technique on the recent experiences :
He used words to express how he felt.
But not the right words.
He chose his words carefully.
He painted a different reality, but he can’t tell you what it is.
He wants to say something else, entirely.
You have to decide what it is.
He… makes a puzzle with his words.
Creates a rhythm with his breath.
It’s like everything’s disconnected.
He’s not gonna just come out and tell you what he’s thinking.
He hides his true meaning.
No one can be trusted with it.
You have to…find out the truth on your own.
And to think this wise words were pronounced by someone who took one stupid decision after another. Ridiculous.
So if you have time to waste and you didn’t receive your daily dose of nonsense yet, then you should definitely watch this movie. A film as empty as my bladder after a lengthy visit to the toilet.
PS. And when on earth is someone going to use figurants who do have a sense of rhythm and can dance a bit. Once again this was a bunch of people hopping around off beat as if they all were listening to their own personal iPod. And I’m still wondering who that old guy was the whole time …