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The Skulls

video review out of 4 Movie Review: The Skulls

Starring: Joshua Jackson, Craig T. Nelson
Director: Rob Cohen
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: March 2000
Genre: Suspense

*Also starring: Will Beckford, Paul Walker, Leslie Bibb, Steven Harris, William L. Petersen, Hill Harper

Review by MrBrown
0 stars out of 4

I'll cut to the chase for the teenybopper admirers of _Dawson's_Creek_ heartthrob Joshua Jackson: he has a couple of partial shirtless shots and a big scene where he runs around in a skintight spandex rowing outfit. But as loud as the girls' howls were for that latter scene, they did not compare to the ever-increasing volume of the ones from the entire audience as this atrocious thriller grew longer and more ridiculous. Jackson plays Luke, a student at an Ivy League university who is recruited to join the exclusive "secret" on-campus society known as (what else?) the Skulls. (I place the word "secret" in quotes because everyone is not only acutely aware of the society's existence, but also the location of their headquarters.) He joins and enjoys the perks of membership until he learns of the despicable Skulls cover-up of an even more despicable crime. Luke wants out, but the organization, of course, has other ideas.

One big problem with the film from the start: I never understood why being a Skull was so special in the first place. While there are obvious monetary benefits, the other "special" activities--black tie parties, free sex, vacation retreats--would be commonplace for other non-underground groups. That, however, is a minor complaint, for _The_Skulls_ is one of those bad films that manages to get worse and worse across the board as it progresses. Barely credible performances turn embarrassingly amateurish (token female Leslie Bibb is cute, but that doesn't count for anything when the material gets more, ahem, "serious"); the turns of the plot are not so much shocking as laughably preposterous (the gratuitous Jackson/Bibb love scene comes at the most unconvincing moment possible; and nothing can prepare you for the, for lack of a better term, "Victorian" climax). After seeing _The_Skulls_ and Rob Cohen's last two theatrical releases, _Daylight_ and _Dragonheart_, I am forced to wonder if he actually did direct the memorable _Dragon:_The_Bruce_Lee_Story_.

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