Assassination of a High School President

Rated 2.0

Director Brett Simon’s Assassination of a High School President springs from a gimmick that would have had more juice if Rian Johnson hadn’t already made the too-similar Brick. Basically, it’s a teen noir, with fake hard-boiled patter, a principal who talks like a police lieutenant, and a mystery that revolves around stolen SATs and pharmaceutical study drugs. Reece Thompson makes a decent rumpled hero as Bobby Funke, a “jaded” prep-school reporter who pursues a juicy story involving the class president, even though he still doesn’t have his driver’s license. Clever ideas abound, but this shtick was already tired in Brick, and the slumming name-brand actors don’t help—Bruce Willis is in a different, less funny movie as the shell-shocked principal, and the less said about Mischa Barton’s attempt at a femme fatale, the better.