A Lure: Teen Fight Club
Title: A Lure: Teen Fight Club
Genre: Crime, Drama
Starring: Jessica Sonneborn, Michael McLafferty, Paulie Rojas
Director: Bill McAdams Jr.
You'd think with a title like that it'd be pretty hard to go too far wrong; a film about a fight club with teenage girls beating the crap out of each other. What part of this sounds bad? Malicious bad guys dressing them and giving them fun persona's; it's not too far removed from what made “Sucker Punch” so fun to watch, except here they're fighting one another! Or at least, that's what I expected. When young teenagers are mysteriously disappearing from a local high school, it's down to Maggie, a local cop, to go undercover and infiltrate the school to uncover the dark truth. Donning her hockey uniform, she impressively manages to convince the school effortlessly that she's new in town and not a woman of her early thirties, finding herself the target of the local popular clique of teens because she has a car and can drive them to a rave. Except things go wrong, and it isn't long before they find themselves the prey of a malicious underground fight club, forced to do battle against one another for their captors.
Actually that last bit's a lie, it is long, taking more than half the film for us to see anything resembling the film I was expecting it to be, and not a teen drama in the vein of “Gilmore Girls” or “One Tree Hill,” except more predictable. In all fairness it does start out a little exploitation-like with a couple of gratuitous nudity shots, though over the course of the film this cheap trick gets largely forgotten leaving less tits on show than you'd like, and of course never the pair you wanted to actually see. If the characters actually had personalities too, we were given ample build up to get to know them properly so there's certainly that. And perhaps this is indeed what high school teenagers in the states really are like; caricatures of actual people with the character clichés of the rich bitch, her dumb blonde 'bestie,' the slutty mexican, and the only likeable one of the bunch being the one faking being friends with them, putting up with a constant barrage of insults and allowing herself to be treated like a slave because she has self esteem issues and likes being able to call herself one of the 'popular kids.' Which now that I think about it isn't all that likeable and probably a contributing factor to why I still didn't care about her.
For an independent film on a low budget, many of the technical details were done superbly; there is no complaint with regards to the shots that were used, the post-production, effects work, and most of the other aspects that they had done well given their budget. The sound being the sole exception, and even here it was only that the volume was poorly normalised in the opening scenes and occasionally dialogue became lost, but this is a fairly minor complaint. The real problem with this film is just about everything else; the title suggests a comical pun (“A Lure” or “Allure”) giving rise to the idea that there will be plenty of sleaze and jokes in the coming 90 minutes. The implication of there being a fight club which plays a central plot point, too, is false, with there only being a couple of minutes dedicated to fighting, and even that was done with such a poor execution it's impressive; the 'mysterious bad guy' obvious from the first time we see him and one of the most blindingly obvious plot hole's I've ever seen arriving in the form of a magically healing thigh which gets stabbed and slashed, regenerating perfectly each time. If they called it “Striptease: A Teen Drama,” I doubt I'd have bothered. The hour of listening to whining teenagers is only just compensated for by watching them get punched in the face.