New on DVD: Assassination of a High School President

Assassination of a High School President is trying to be a lot of things but failing at all of them. Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) sees himself as an investigative reporter. When asked to do a fluff piece on the high school president, he instead opts to look into the theft of the school’s SATs. When […]


Assassination of a High School President is trying to be a lot of things but failing at all of them.

Bobby Funke (Reece Thompson) sees himself as an investigative reporter. When asked to do a fluff piece on the high school president, he instead opts to look into the theft of the school’s SATs. When the two stories collide, Funke is the only one with enough of the pieces to figure out the real story.

The events turn out to be parts of a giant conspiracy with cover ups worthy of Enron, entirely orchestrated by a group of teenagers. Had the entire thing been more over the top to correspond with the fantasy-type, oddball characters that populate the narrative, it would have been more acceptable. Instead the movie plays as a poor impersonation of Brick, a brilliant, gritty high school film noir starring Joseph Gordon Levitt.

The well-known actors involved create initial interest: Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Michael Rapaport and Melonie Diaz. However, their roles are small and Willis especially appears misused. The more amusing and simultaneously irritating characters are the so-called “usual suspects,” as they are both funny and useless.

The special features include: feature commentary by director Brett Simon and writers Tim Caplin and Kevin Jakubowski, in which they gush about their favourite moments but provide little real insight; and numerous alternative, extended and deleted scenes that contribute little to the movie’s experience.