Friday, 26 August 2011

The Skulls III (2004)

The second sequel to The Skulls (as I’m sure you already gathered from the title) improves slightly on the previous movie thanks to one significant difference – the protagonist this time around is female.

Clare Kramer plays Taylor Brooks, a determined and smart young woman who finds a loophole allowing her to be considered for acceptance by The Skulls, a secret society that’s not really all that secret. If you have seen the previous movies then you know the drill by now – someone gets to join The Skulls, things become a bit strained, deceit and/or death occurs, everything goes sour for the new recruit, a plan is hatched to fix everything and cancel the lifetime membership.

J. Miles Dale directs this time and he does just what you’d expect with a second sequel to a middling teen thriller. Joe Johnson’s script tries to surprise but savvy viewers will always know exactly what’s coming.
Kramer isn’t too bad in the lead role and her character is easier to root for than the previous protagonists as she overcomes extra adversity and discrimination due to her gender. Bryce Johnson sneers capably enough, Steve Braun is just fine in the role as supportive fellow Skull newbie and Dean McDermott and Maria del Mar are both pretty bad as two detectives trying to solve a case that is revealed as the movie progresses (the main character is telling her side of things to the police as the movie gets underway). Barry Bostwick fans may be pleased to see . . . . . . . . . . Barry Bostwick in a prominent role. He does okay but it’s more of a fun performance than anything remotely realistic and  believable.

The Skulls III shouldn’t exist but it does and it’s actually quite watchable. It’s not really all that good but it’s not really all that bad either. Which is why it gets such an average rating. 

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