Wednesday 24 August 2011

The Skulls (2000)

This teen thriller about a powerful secret society hidden within the walls of a top Ivy League institution is a lot of fun despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that it starts off being quite unbelievable and just gets more and more implausible with each scene.

Joshua Jackson is the young lad with no family fortune who finds himself lucky enough to be joining “The Skulls”. His friends, played by Leslie Bibb and Hill Harper, don’t view this as a good thing. “If it's secret and elite, it can't be good”.
There is one fellow being initiated at the same time (played by Paul Walker) who thinks it is a good thing indeed . . . . . . . . until something goes a bit wrong and it starts to become clear just how far-reaching and powerful this secret society really is.

Written by John Pogue, and directed by Rob Cohen, The Skulls has a decent cast and lively pacing to carry an audience through the preposterousness from start to finish. This is a secret society that has a large symbol stuck on top of a main building. It’s a secret society easier to infiltrate and mess with than Wikipedia entries. For goodness sake, its members are BRANDED. But part of the fun to be had from this movie is derived from laughing at those involved. The film may want to sell itself as some sleek teen thriller but, really, it also points and laughs at those who will go to ridiculous lengths just to join some exclusive club that will have them as a member.

Joshua Jackson, Leslie Bibb, Paul Walker and Hill Harper are all good enough in their respective roles but the real treat for film fans comes from having support from Craig T. Nelson (brilliant as the ruthlessly ambitious father of Paul Walker’s character), William Petersen and Christopher McDonald. Steve Harris is also excellent as Detective Sparrow.

Nothing to seek out and see immediately, The Skulls would fit the bill if you were stuck indoors on a rainy evening and it came on TV. Arguably more entertaining for all the wrong reasons than for all the right ones, it’s still entertaining.

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