John Tucker Must Die

on July 28, 2006 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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Don't be fooled by its dramatic title; "John Tucker Must Die" is anything but provocative or compelling. It's just another cookie-cutter teen movie, populated by actors chosen more for their looks than their talent. These include "Desperate Housewives'" Jesse Metcalfe, who plays the title character, a smooth high-school operator who incurs the wrath of his three girlfriends (Ashanti, Sophia Bush and Arielle Kebbel) when they find out that they're not the only loves in his life. Egged on by wallflower Kate (Brittany Snow), who despises John Tucker types, they decide to get their revenge on the local lothario by causing him to fall in love with a girl who won't respond to his charms. But Kate, picked for the task, soon begins to tumble for Tucker, a shift that risks undoing the girls' plan.

Desperately unfunny and in dire need of some ribald "American Pie" hijinks to liven up the movie, "John Tucker Must Die" is a case of the bland leading the bland, with some predictable moral life lessons thrown into the dull mix. Other than making Tucker less of a villain than one might expect, this is a film with nothing new to offer. Even the unimaginative covers of good songs such as "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "Time After Time" fail to excite. When we have savvy, smart TV shows like "Veronica Mars," which perfectly and cleverly capture the angst and tribulations of high school life, there's absolutely no need for empty-headed, vapid movies like this. Starring Jesse Metcalfe, Brittany Snow, Ashanti and Jenny McCarthy. Directed by Betty Thomas. Written by Jeff Lowell. Produced by Karen Lunder, Michael Birnbaum and Bob Cooper. A Fox release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language. Running time: 87 min

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