John Tucker Must Die has all of the elements of an average teen movie: a high school setting, an unrealistically attractive cast, cliques, and the list goes on. That’s my way of saying I can’t think of any other obvious teen movie stuff, so fill in whatever comes to your mind and I’m sure it’ll fit just fine.
If it looks and sounds like a duck, then it probably is an average teen movie, right? Right. I may have skipped a step there, but the point is you shouldn’t expect anything special from John …ucker Must Die. But if you want some eye candy and a fluffy, feel-good ending, then this might be the movie for you.
Here’s how the story goes. John Tucker (Jess Metcalfe) is the coolest, hottest guy in school, and a major player. When the three hot girls he’s playing (Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel) find out about each other, they plot revenge with a new girl (Brittany Snow) who’s interested because her mom (Jenny McCarthy) dates Tucker-types all the time. Their plan is to get Tucker to fall for the new girl, and then have her break his heart. But everything doesn’t quite go as planned, and there’s a “where’d that come from?” surprise ending that will leave you breathless.
Just kidding. The film moves along at an upbeat pace and concludes in an expected fashion. This film might have been a solid satirical dark comedy, but it’s just way too inoffensive, and the characters are much too nice about their whole scheme. At least the cast members did an okay job with their formulaic roles, and I guess that’s about all one could hope for.
There’s nothing new here, so you already know whether this movie is your type. Like most teen fluff movies, John Tucker Must Die will be forgotten in a year, so enjoy it while you know it exists.
So, how’s the DVD?
John Tucker Must Die is presented on one double-sided disc, with 1.85:1 widescreen on one side and 1.33:1 full screen on the other. Both transfers look just fine, with good sharpness, contrast and vibrant colours.
The menu is animated, scored, and the layout is a little confusing. If you rent this one, you’ll see what I mean.
No complaints here either. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is clear and crisp, and it makes decent use of the front sound stage. Audio is also offered in Dolby 2.0 Surround for Spanish and French, while English and Spanish subtitles are available.
For bonus material, John Tucker Must Die includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, three sort-of featurettes, the film’s trailer and a soundtrack promo.
The commentary is by director Betty Thomas and editor Mark Friedman. You can tell they have a good working relationship, and they speak insightfully and unpretentiously about their filmmaking process.
There are two short deleted scenes, with optional director commentary. Nothing to see here, as you’ll quickly understand why this stuff didn’t make the final film.
Next is On the Rebound, a short, silly featurette covering Metcalfe’s basketball skills. At just under two minutes, this one’s worth a look for kicks.
Then there’s the John Tucker Must Die Dating Quiz, which runs under three minutes. Don’t even bother with this one, as it’s as lame as any other DVD quiz. Why do they keep including these things?
There’s also a music video of People In Planes performing Instantly Gratified, which you’ll enjoy if you like the song. Not my cup of tea, though.
The extra stuff wraps up with a mildly interesting On Set Tour with Jesse Metcalfe, the film’s Theatrical Trailer, and a promo spot for the soundtrack.
John Tucker Must Die is passable teen entertainment, presented on a decent-quality DVD. The audio and video are well done, but the extras lack any sort of depth. Definitely a renter.
Special Features List
- Audio commentary
- Deleted scenes
- Music video
- Soundtrack promo