For me, the most interesting thing about the trailer for Barely Lethal is that it features a scene I unknowingly walked past while it was filming after getting coffee at the downtown Decatur, Georgia, Starbucks seen in the background. That might be the most interesting thing for you, now, too. It’s not a very interesting looking movie. We’ve seen little girl assassins a lot lately, from Hanna to Salt (in flashbacks) to Violet & Daisy to TV’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And we could probably throw Kick-Ass in there, too. Of course, Leon: The Professional is still all we ever needed. Hailee Steinfeld is a delight, at least.
This one also has Samuel L. Jackson playing another covert organization leader – he might as well be the same guy from the xXx movies. The role might seem like a stretch of his talent, though, for anyone born yesterday and who has only seen him as the villain in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Just as Jessica Alba’s turn here will be exciting for anyone who has only seen her in Spy Kids 4. And there’s Sophie Turner, kicking ass in a cheerleader outfit, which may be of interest to fans of Game of Thrones and the X-Men franchise, for which she’s been cast as the new Jean Grey.
Aside from the fact that violent little girls are overdone, we’ve also seen enough movies where someone is hiding out or posing undercover in a high school, be it Hiding Out, 21 Jump Street, Never Been Kissed. But from the trailer, Barely Lethal mostly reminds me of Grosse Pointe Blank, only with a female protagonist and set during actual high school rather than a high school reunion. With some Mean Girls thrown in for good measure.
Barely Lethal is written by John D’Arco and directed by Kyle Newman (Fanboys), who is probably just hoping this is good enough to show he can do a standalone Star Wars movie focused on an intergalactic little girl assassin. It’s set to debut exclusively on DirecTV Cinema VOD next month before hitting theaters later in the year.