From the look of it, D.E.B.S. was written by a guy. After all, the film is about an elite team of women spies that fight evil wearing plaid skirts and involves a lesbian subplot. The film is actually a reworking of a short-film of the same name by Angela Robinson. It's a silly send-up of all things Charlie's Angels, and mixes in lots of Buffy style dialogue and humor. It's a one-note joke, but Robinson invested enough time and thought into the process that it manages to be bearable. What is immediately clear is that there probably wasn't enough material for a full-length motion picture, which probably explains the random sing-along to Erasure near the end of the film. The four D.E.B.S., the driven Max (Meagan Goode, The Cookout, You Got Served), ditzy Janet (Jill Ritchie, Seeing Other People, Breakin' All the Rules), smart Amy (Sara Foster, The Big Bounce), and snooty Dominique (Devon Aoki, 2 Fast 2 Furious) do their best to kick butt and look good while doing so.
Things shift into overdrive when they discover that notorious criminal Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster, The Fast and the Furious, The Invisible Circus) is meeting with Russian assassin Ninotchka (Jessica Caulfiel, White Chicks, Stuck On You). Diamond tried destroying Australia twice, and is believed responsible for a number of deaths across the world. Nobody has ever survived an encounter with her. Every agency, including D.E.B.S., believes they are planning something nefarious. In actuality, it is a blind date set up by Diamond's confidant Scud (Jimmi Simpson, Final Draft, Loser), incidentally probably the only normal person in the entire film. The date does not go well, and an escaping Diamond literally runs into Amy. Diamond is as smitten as Amy is confused, and Diamond is determined to win Amy's heart.
While Brewster and Foster (a former model) are both eye candy, well, basically every female here is eye candy, their romance has zero chemistry. Their few love scenes (remember, this is a PG-13 rated film) are surprisingly dull, even with the fact that two hot women are making out. D.E.B.S. shifts gears inexplicably turning into more of a coming out story. Amy grapples with her feelings with Diamond. The fact that they are on opposite sides of the law compounds the situation. The plot slows down considerably when this happens, as Robinson tries unsuccessfully to grapple with real emotion.
The romance doesn't work as much as the continual parody. Robinson makes sure that nobody takes themselves too seriously. On stakeouts, the D.E.B.S. are just as likely to look at the clothes their targets are wearing as they are to assess the situation. The special effects and stunts are campy, what one imagines the old Batman television sitcom would look like if produced today (minus the comic balloons). Ritchie (Kid Rock's sister) steals the show with her ditzy performance. Everything else is paper-thin, but hey, it's fun for what it is.
|Mongoose Rates It: Okay.|
|1 hour, 30 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.|
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