I’ve been a huge fan of Assassination of a High School President since I first watched it. For a long time I wasn’t sure where it could be watched. When I found it on Peacock recently, I was excited to revisit it so that I could see if I was still a fan of it. I’m still a fan of the movie, finding it just as funny as I did before. I also found it to be a fantastic neo noir, which I appreciate even more now.
Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski wrote an impressive neo noir that plays some of the more ridiculous tropes for laughs. It works as a nice companion to Rian Johnson’s Brick since they both deal with similar subjects but do so in different ways. Assassination of a High School President is a more comedic take on the neo noir. That’s only helped along by Brett Simon’s direction.
I’m sure that the cast’s performances were only helped by Simon’s direction. Reece Thompson, Mischa Barton, Bruce Willis, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Morris, Emily Meade, Josh Pais, Melonie Diaz, and Luke Grimes are great. Bruce Willis makes the most of what is essentially an extended cameo. He has some of the funniest interactions with Reece Thompson. Speaking of Reece Thompson, he makes for a great leading man for the combination of neo noir and high school movie. Mischa Barton seems to be playing against type from the type of character she was playing at time. She does a great job of doing that, making you feel like she’s just a popular girl surrounded by crazy circumstances. The rest of the actors that play the faculty of the school make for interesting characters, giving the world flavor. The entire cast is filled with performances that give the world flavor.
There’s not that many effects but there are some stunts. There’s some car stunts that go well because the stunt team were able to pull them off. The costume designer did a great job of making it feel like a classic noir movie, on top of the dialogue. The fact that it was shot at a high school makes it feel right. Daniele Luppi was able to get the music right for the movie.
Assassination of a High School President is a funny and smart neo noir that doesn’t necessarily land everything it goes for but does land most things. I was surprised by how many people in the cast that I recognized, mostly because they became bigger names since this movie came out. I’m glad that its on Peacock now so that maybe more people will discover it. I give Assassination of a High School President 7.5 sticks of gum out of 10.