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Netflix's Do Revenge Has Critics Excited About Performances By Maya Hawke, Camila Mendes And More

Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke in Do Revenge
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s latest comedy Do Revenge stars an ensemble cast of today’s most popular “teen” (because they’re all in their 20s in real life) stars. This new flick stars Camila Mendes, who is famously part of the Riverdale cast, and Stranger Things standout Maya Hawke, who committed to the film back in 2020. Both leading ladies were complimented for their performances by the critics, who also dug the nostalgia factor and the supporting cast. A cast that includes powerhouses like Sophie Turner, who you might know from a little show called Game of Thrones, and Alisha Boe, who was in the Netflix adaptation of 13 Reasons Why

While there were pitfalls to the movie, the reviews remained positive, with the film at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here is what a few of the critics have to say about Do Revenge (opens in new tab)

Calling it a “sharp and stylish dark comedy,” Emily Bernard from Collider wrote that the new Netflix movie will keep you on your toes until the end. She compliments Mendes and Hawke, saying Mendes “completely owns” her character’s “righteous nature,” while Hawke gives a “nuanced” and “multidimensional” performance that shows off her range. Along with the two leads, she acknowledges her appreciation for the rest of the ensemble: 

The cast of conniving characters, which has been referred to as “the Revengers,” is brought to life by an eclectic assortment of actors. Talia Ryder’s flirty and charming Gabbi who takes a liking to Eleanor is also a standout. Alisha Boe nails the two-faced Tara whose commitment is as reliable as a phone running on 5% battery. Turner, though only in a handful of scenes, shatters her Game of Thrones image and delivers an outrageous, physical, and freaking hilarious performance.

Carla Meyer at the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about Mendes and Hawke embracing their inner Regina Georges for the movie. The Mean Girls vibe along with its progressive take on the teen revenge trope worked mostly because of the two lead actresses. Meyer elaborated on this point saying: 

Hawke’s gentler energy complements Mendes’ steelier presence as Eleanor and Drea find they share a wicked sense of humor and a fascination with the school’s no-nonsense headmistress, with Eleanor quipping, ‘I want her to hide my body in the woods and then start the search party trying to find me.’

Matt Zoller Seitz over at RogerEbert.com wrote that while the movie has its issues, like lots of teen movies do, it manages to elevate itself “beyond pastiche” because of the lead performances. He also noted that the direction of the film as well as its self-awareness were highlights. Notably, he called out Maya Hawke’s strong performance, with a nod to her famous parents, writing: 

There's more to Eleanor than we initially assume; whatever you're predicting in your head as you read this is not quite what the movie gives you. (Hawke, who's got her mother Uma Thurman's smoky-wounded voice and her father's laid-back know-it-all charm, plays every beat just right.)

Alexander Harrison from ScreenRant explains that Do Revenge harnesses the nostalgia of ‘80s and ‘90s movies like Heathers and Clueless. It then uses that nostalgia to create a film that speaks to the issues of today surrounding social media and streaming. Using that nostalgia and its ensemble cast, he writes that it was a fun time that fits right in with its predecessors. 

Still, Robinson's film is not without things to say, and the combination of a dialed-up Mendes and a dialed-in Hawke make receiving that message a fun, engrossing experience. It is, in other words, exactly what it set out to be, and with any luck, it'll be named alongside the titles it so admires on many a teen movie listicle to come.

While Jordan Hoffman from TV Guide did not love the movie, he also admits he is not the intended audience for it. Overall, he calls the film “breezy and agreeable,” saying while it's nothing fantastic, it is amusing. While he may have been indifferent overall, he praised Hawke’s performance in the film and appreciated how the poppy colorful costumes worked into her storyline.

What it has going for it most is Maya Hawke, a very gifted performer who carries herself through the comedy quite well. Hawke makes funny faces when you least expect them, and it's fun to watch. Baked into the story is Hawke's character becoming an expressive and experimental dresser, and costume designer Alana Morshead knocks this out of the park, transforming Eleanor from a schlump into a walking piece of pop art.

The verdict seems to be that this movie is a good time, especially if teen comedies are your cup of tea. Among the many 2022 movies being released this week, this seems like a good one to watch if you have a Netflix subscription and are looking for something fun and easy to watch in the never-ending sea of Netflix movies

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.