Those Mandy Lane’s, they’ll do damage to a guy’s head.
Mandy Lane (Amber Heard) is the dream-girl that all dudes go head-over-heels for. There’s nothing really amazing about her personality, it’s just the beauty of what she looks like is what really does it for these dudes, hence why she gets so many date-offers and such, yet, turns them all down. She’s a shy girl that obviously wants to have a lot of friends, but there’s always something holding her back. What it is, we don’t quite know, but that mystery is what the guys love about her the most. That, and the fact that she’s slam-spankin’ gorgeous! So, Mandy gets an invitation to one of her friend’s ranches out in the middle of nowhere for the weekend just to hang out, drink, have some sex, smoke some weed, and do all the sorts of reckless abandonment that teenagers partake in. However, the weekend gets a little bit weird during the night, and not just because all of the dudes obviously are trying TOO hard to be with Mandy, but because people start going missing and there are even gun-shots heard somewhere in the distance. Are they being hunted? And if so, by who? Is it all just for Mandy?
If you know the whole story behind this movie, you’ll know that people have been waiting like the Dickens for this thing, and it’s not because it’s great or outstanding or anything of that sort. It’s all because the Weinsteins, seeing as how they couldn’t make a profit off of a teen-centered, grindhouse flick, decided to sell the movie to a company that not soon after, went out of business, leaving it stuck without anybody to carry it, or have a release-date at all. People saw it, wanted it out there for the world to see, but it just didn’t seem like that was going to be happening, or at least not for awhile anyway.
Fast forward 7 years later, and I’m still trying to figure out what the wait was all for.
Director Jonathan Levine is a guy who has gone on to bigger, better things in the past couple of years since his directorial-debut hit, and was never seen, but here, he shows a very promising career that we all know he was capable of maintaining. The guy shows a nice taste for showing movies about young people, their lives, and who they are, yet, he never goes any deeper than just “kids do stupid stuff, nuff said.” That’s about as far into these characters as we go, and even though I’ll give the guy credit for allowing his movie to show these kids doing a hefty amount of drugs, partying, and drinking in a way that feels realistic and not glamorized in the least bit, he never goes anywhere with it. He just shows them for being young, dumb teenagers, and then shows them as they get killed, which made the flick a bit harder to enjoy, mostly because it isn’t interesting.
Once the kills start to happen and the horror-aspect of its story start to file in, then we see what Levine’s true intentions of this movie were, and it’s less about making a statement on the loneliness faced by these teenagers’ dull, meandering lives, but more how his horror flick is better than most out there. Levine seems to take a stand on the fact that he knows the typical genre-conventions that come with horror movies, but rather making something smart or original with those conventions, he sort of does the same stuff, with less flair or enjoyment added to the proceedings. In fact, you could probably go so far as to say that the movie is probably weaker than the ones that Levine seems to pointing the bad finger at in the first place.
And it’s not like the movie’s “bad” per se, it’s just obvious that the horror-aspect doesn’t mesh well with these teens as well as it should, and that’s mainly because there’s no feeling behind it. We sort of want most of these kids to get killed because they’re so boring and annoying to be around, and live rather monotonous lives, even though we shouldn’t feel this way. Levine sort of wants us to feel sympathy for most of these teenagers that can’t seem to make a run for it when they easily should know when and how to, but it never hits us that we should. We just watch as each and every character gets hacked-off, one-by-one, with no feeling of remorse or sadness whatsoever. Not saying that we’re supposed to be happy about these young kids having their lives ended so early and morbidly either, but we should have some feeling involved with it, shouldn’t we?
Needless to say, it was strange seeing Amber Heard in this role as Mandy Lane because of how young, but still gorgeous she looks. Granted, it’s been only 7 years since she made this movie (which would have made her around my age, 19-20), but you can tell that she was always a beauty and the perfect-fit as Mandy Lane, aka, the girl who practically takes over every guy’s mind whenever she walks by, or just so happens to even get close to making eye-contact with them. She’s mysterious in her own way and you want to know more about her, and Heard allows us to be intrigued and interested by her as well. She lets us in as much as she can without spoiling everything about her and it had me going for the longest time. Heard isn’t really given much to do other than just silently sit there, gazing at all of the happenings surrounding her, and that was fine, because she nails it. The rest of the cast I can’t say the same thing for, however, it is fairly obvious that all of them are talented and deserved to show up in more stuff like they have. Some I’ve seen before, some I haven’t, but at least they do well with the thinly-written characters they’re given.
Consensus: Though there are some interesting aspects surrounding All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, they get thrown to the side for the grisly murders, overuse of blood and gore, and non-stop horror conventions that take over the last act.
5.5 / 10 = Rental!!