Plot: A high school field trip was supposed to be an educational whale watching excursion, until the students unleashed the alcohol stash. This leads to chaos and a shipwreck situation, with the students marooned on a tropical beach. Not the worst place to be, but with the kids divided into social cliques, life as a castaway starts to resemble the school’s hallways. One side, the jocks and popular girls run wild and just want to party, while on the other, the outcasts and smart kids also want to run wild and party, but with some kind of plan for survival. Stuck in the middle is Peggy (Lindsey Shaw), who has the good looks of a cheerleader, but the personality of an outcast. Even if they are somehow rescued, will this shipwrecked experience change any of them, or will the good times of high school just never end?
Entertainment Value: This isn’t a typical selection for me to review, but I can’t resist Lindsey Shaw, so I had to check out Devolved. The story of students stranded on a desert island isn’t a new one, but the tone here is so offbeat, it seems fairly fresh. The humor is not always consistent, but it hits more than it misses and takes some odd paths, which is always fun. I also like that while Devolved seems to take aim at similar teen comedies, it does so with subtle wit in most cases. So the movie gets in some nice jabs, but still feels authentic to the genre. The dialogue here is sharp and often acidic, as well as silly at times and over the top. As I said, some of the jokes fall flat, but a lot of them work and there are some real bright spots here. On the downside, the cast fails to make the most of the material. While Shaw is hot, even she isn’t able to bring her social circle straddling role to life. The performances here aren’t terrible in most cases, but a more skilled cast could have done a lot more with the script, I think. As uneven as the experience is, those who love (or hate) teen comedies or just have a crush on Shaw should still give it a look.
It wouldn’t be a proper teen comedy without some perky, young tits, right? A few topless scenes here, but mostly brief. No blood. The dialogue is inconsistent, but manages to deliver some fun lines throughout. Some of the dialogue just has this random, tangential feel, but it just sticks. I think some of the best lines here are kind of nonsense, but just entertain. A lot of pop culture references too, but mostly subtle ones that don’t come off like cheap pot shots. Some smart lines, some funny ones, and some nonsensical but hilarious ones, which is a nice blend. I just wish the cast was up to the task and could have done more with the material. Aside from the wacky dialogue and satiric edge, Devolved isn’t all that out there. It sticks close to some genre conventions and skewers others, but still feels at home in the genre. But it does deserve some points for the overall subversion and moments like the strange adoption scene, awkward weather report, and the weakest air horn ever filmed.
Overall Insanity: 3/10