Wasted on the Young
Director: Ben C.Lucas. Paramount Pictures, Rated MA, 97 Minutes
‘Wasted on the Young’ is a new Australian movie from first time writer and director Ben C. Lucas but it is far from being an average high school drama.
In fact it proves to be quite confronting in its exhibition of youth culture and the environment that high school kids find themselves having to face in between the social pressures and the risks associated with the use of computer generated technology.
Such is the premise for this intriguing teen thriller with the storyline focused on high school relationships, in particular on three main characters-half brothers Darren (Oliver Ackland-’The Proposition’), Zack (Alex Russell) and the lovely Xandrie (Adelaide Clemens-’X-Men Origins-Wolverine’) with whom Darren is romantically infatuated.
Lucas’s production is set in an elite Australian high school with the prickly relationship between the tech-savvy Darren and his star swimming half brother being exposed in the school ground and later at Zack’s drug fuelled party-which is the catalyst for the chain reaction after Darren discovers that Xandrie has been drugged and raped.
Following the cyber revelations, the tension and violence rise quickly to fever pitch despite Zack and his bully buddies’ attempts to suppress the crime.
It then becomes a matter of time before both Darren (using his high tech expertise) and Xandrie seek vengeance against the perpetrators.
Besides the strikingly shot swimming pool sequences and some good performances from a young cast especially from Ackland (Darren), Clemens (Xandrie) and Russell (Zack) there are a number of twists and turns along the way that cleverly maintain the tension as the plot unwinds to its unusual conclusion.
Surprisingly there are no parents or teachers featured in Lucas’ stylish directorial debut but as a straightforward thriller the movie is thought-provoking and offers some moral lessons, pointing out the abuse of social networking and cyber bullying in a high school environment.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
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