The Final

Okay, with only two movies left, I’m caught up again. It is convenient that after burning through several movies in a row, the most recent one is also the one I’ve liked best today. Playing on the fears (and in some cases, almost certainly the fantasies) of a post-Columbine public, The Final presents a group of high school misfits led by the President of Holden Caulfield’s fan club who hatch a plot to get all of their tormentors together at a weekend party for a series of deadly lessons on the nature of being pushed too far.

Other than a subplot about a racist Vietnam vet, pretty much every character in every scene is filled with pathos and well-presented anger in equal measure, by the end of the movie if not in any given scene. There are a few good guys, but nearly everyone is a bad guy at some time or another, and that part of high school doesn’t show up on the screen very often. Still, the plot was mostly predictable once all the characters were set in motion by the middle third of the movie; the real joy here was the acting. I may or may not have liked Kill Theory better, but this is certainly the only one so far I’d recommend to anyone else.

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