x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Graduation

There's nothing here that an episode of The OC - and a mediocre one at that - didn't do back in the day.

Pretty Young Things: The principal cast of <i>Graduation</i> were culled from all manners of cancelled teen soaps.
Pretty Young Things: The principal cast of Graduation were culled from all manners of cancelled teen soaps.


On its release in the US, this bank-heist teen caper opened in a handful of cities seemingly selected at random - Austin, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle - only to go to DVD a couple of weeks later. It's not hard to see why with a plotline like this. Four high school friends decide to rob a bank on the morning of their graduation - it's almost a parody of a pitch line for one of Hollywood's myriad teen trauma dramas. One of the kids is desperate for $100,000 (a nice tidy sum of course) to throw a life-saving bone marrow transplant his mum's way. Another kid has the bank manager for her father (of course), whom she's presently a bit peeved at (of course). So they enact a small-town, senior-year version of Mission: Impossible, which rides this succession of clichés and coincidences in an entertaining, if trash TV kind of way. The biggest test of this: halfway through I paused the DVD to meet a friend for dinner, but found myself distracted from the ramen and the conversation, wondering what was to happen to our fearless foursome. Then again, how much would you wager on the robbery turning out as planned? There's nothing here that an episode of The OC - and a mediocre one at that - didn't do back in the day. A final note of caution: if you're here to see some Huey Lewis, don't be fooled by the star billing. His is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance as a truck-driving stepfather.
afeshareki@thenational.ae