It is incredibly difficult to continue to gush over a movie that I reviewed back in January 2008, but I’m going to give it a shot. Originally debuting at the Sundance Film Festival two years ago, Brett Simon’s directorial debut Assassination of a High School President is finally going to be available for public viewing. Unfortunately the folks at Sony decided to let is simmer too long, and now you will only be able to see it when it hits DVD on October 6th.
The film stars Reece Thompson (Rocket Science) as Bobby Funke, a noir-era detective trapped in the body of a second-rate high school newspaper reporter. When a set of SAT answers are stolen from the office of his private school’s overbearing principal (played by Bruce Willis), Funke must get on the case and track down the culprit, clearing his own name in the process. Standing in his way is a high school full of odd, manipulative characters, not the least of which is the school’s hottest girl, played by Mischa Barton.
It’s a film that is incredibly smart — sharply written to the point that it will surprise you with how mature and unconventional it is. It’s Rian Johnson’s Brick, but lighter and more fun. It’s a John Hughes movie, if John Hughes tried to direct a funny version of Chinatown set in a private Catholic high school. It is all of these things and more. One thing it isn’t… to be disregarded as standard direct-to-DVD garbage. This is a good movie, one worth picking up when it hits DVD.. One that deserved a theatrical release. In fact, it is actually a movie that is far better than the trailer below makes it look. Trust me on this.
Assassination of a High School President hits DVD shelves October 6, 2009. For more, check out my editorial of outrage from earlier this year. Watch the trailer below.