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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 4.82%
Average: 16.87%
Pretty Bad: 19.28%
Total Crap: 25.3%

6 reviews, 47 user ratings

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by Scott Weinberg

"Picture Charlie's Angels with some actual lesbainism. Sounds great, eh?"
3 stars

Just about 365 days ago, my Sundance pals and I were delighted by a short called D.E.B.S. It focused on a trio of sexy young spies (all dressed in those awesome schoolgirl skirts and ties!) who were hell-bent on infiltrating their enemy's lair in an effort to rescue the fourth member of their team. That this fourth member was in the midst of enjoying a playfully randy lesbian love scene was just the icing on the cake. This short was clever and colorful, kinetic and kinky. So now comes the feature-length version, padded out to well over the original's 11-minutes, and despite the fact that the gimmick has been spread quite thin this time around, this newer D.E.B.S. still offers enough goofy good fun to warrant a visit.

So it turns out that in addition to measuring English and math aptitude for us "regular folks" the S.A.T. exams also serve a rather clandestine purpose as well: to weed out the finest recruits for the D.E.B.S. spy school. All of the agents are young, perky, pretty and rather ass-kickin' too. We got the sex-crazy Asian bad-girl Dominique (Devon Aoki), the adorably bubble-brained Janet (Jill Ritchie, the only actor to reprise her role from the short version), the sweet-natured good girl Amy (Sara Foster), and their no-nonsense leader Max (Meagan Good). On the other end is the nefarious lady criminal Lucy Diamond, as played by the scene-stealing Jordana Brewster, and her not-so-nasty henchman Scud (Jimmi Simpson).

Obviously it's up to the D.E.B.S. gals to thwart Lucy's evil schemes...but things go goofily askew when Amy, fresh off the dumpage of her mouth-breathing boyfriend, somehow manages to fall in love with the villainous Lucy! Thus begins a lesbianic love affair that's repeatedly dashed because, well, Lucy's a super-criminal and Amy is an elite she-spy crime-fighter.

Debut filmmaker Angela Robinson hits a lot of her marks here, while also allowing her film to meander more than once. Lengthy stretches pass by with nary a laugh, although there's more than enough colorful kookiness and delicious eye-candy to help smooth over the rough spots. (What Michael Clarke Duncan, as a D.E.B.S. advisor, is doing in this movie is beyond me; he has perhaps three scenes, none of which have any real impact on the movie.) Sight gags and some subtle touches of slapstick offer some relatively consistent chuckles, though the movie is virtually bereft of the Out Loud sort of laughs that some may be expecting.

One thing that Robinson does get right, and it's a noteworthy factor indeed, is that her movie deals with homosexuality in a way that doesn't pander or ridicule. The moments of 'lady love' (calm down, fellas; skin-wise this flick's a PG-13 affair) are handled with a welcome degree of normalcy. Well, perhaps 'normal' isn't the right word to describe a Spy Gals Farce that frequently dabbles in silliness, but it's great that the 'lesbian angle' isn't sniggered or leered at.

On the technical side, D.E.B.S. is surprisingly impressive. The handful of special effects on display are both clever and effective. (Gotta love that the D.E.B.S. hideout is protected a forcefield that matches the gals' sexy plaid skirts.) The ladies fill their roles with much playfulness and fun, though Foster and Brewster easily make the largest impressions, and veteran character actor Holland Taylor pops up for a few fun scenes as the girl's callous captain.

D.E.B.S. is very light and airy and frequently quite fun, yet one can't help but feel that the feature-length version is too little butter spread over too much toast. That's not to say it's a bad film (it's not), but I'd bet that Angela Robinson has some better movies up her sleeve. Based on the playfully sexy (and silly) tone of her debut feature, Robinson's one I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future.

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originally posted: 01/18/04 17:30:35
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 CineVegas Film Festival. For more in the 2004 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/20/20 bored mom Aoki and Good are super sexy, but then there's the rest of the movie. 1 stars
3/03/11 Charles Tatum Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is 2 stars
2/21/11 art "A REAL CLASSIC",give me a BRAKE! 1 stars
5/18/10 Timmy Awful unfunny mess 1 stars
12/07/09 art THIS FILM SHOULD BE PUT ON A BONFIRE! 1 stars
7/18/09 JOZNEE I Love it. . . !!!!!!!EXCELLENT MOVIE..JORDANA BREWSTER lookSS Hot. 5 stars
6/25/09 Leslie A fun story and great casting! 5 stars
10/08/08 Enry Wiki SEEN TWICE! Funny,original, yet subversive in presenting seriously a girl2girl relationship 5 stars
8/13/07 Friducha This is Lez camp at its best - if you dont like it, you dont get it... 5 stars
7/26/07 Katrina The movie trailer was decieving, didn't know anything about this movie, kind of shocking 2 stars
6/04/07 gansta dis movie is de bomb 5 stars
5/07/07 Chris Cute flick! Unrealistic of course, but a great Friday night movie! Cute! 5 stars
10/11/06 amber I loved it! It was cute and fun! 5 stars
9/28/06 Phiuk Yiu This movie sucks, no good action scenes and Lucy Diamond is a joke. Lesbian kissing? Good 1 stars
8/19/06 harkharjit a film full of excitement nd irony but some action was lacking 5 stars
10/20/05 tabitha its mint i love it watch the film with the actresses comments its halerious 5 stars
10/11/05 Tom Burns Not that good, some very hot girls though are in it. 2 stars
9/26/05 a. kurlovs creative, packed w/fun and laughs, completely unpretentious, and the soundtrack is great. 5 stars
8/24/05 Dogfish Oh,my God,it is very fine indeed 5 stars
8/21/05 Kym i just love the movie. ^_^ Jordana and Sara so hot!. 5 stars
8/09/05 Nampetch I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/07/05 Tabata B. Iuspa i justy love the movie. its message ut pretty cool 5 stars
7/28/05 Kat It was a hoot - a happy funny silly spoof 5 stars
6/29/05 T It's silly, campy fun. You won't learn any Life Lessons, but eh. 5 stars
6/23/05 sally angwin this film opened the melbourne queer film festiival and it went down big time 5 stars
6/08/05 Lindi I loved this movie! It had action, comedy, and Jordana Brewster!! I couldn't ask for more! 5 stars
5/12/05 amin sax 1 stars
3/26/05 Greg Ursic I liked the tongue-in-cheek styling mixed with some serious messages. Great soundtrack! 3 stars
3/19/05 Mark McLeod funny sort of charlie's angel type film.. 4 stars
10/15/04 Denise Sudell Cute genre parody. Jordana Brewster steals every scene, and is great eye candy to boot. 3 stars
10/11/04 Nathalie I friggin loved it! 5 stars
9/22/04 Jenni Sahramaa Great! 5 stars
9/19/04 Grace Just Terrible! 1 stars
8/17/04 sara funny is the less thing i can say. 5 stars
7/02/04 jeffrey Cute & fun movie. I'm sure they won't mind being compared to Charlies Angels in High schoo 4 stars
6/23/04 Lauren Nissen wow...this movie was pretty bad 2 stars
6/15/04 Brent Usry A pathetic over rated copy of about every film lately. Charlies Angeles Specifically! 1 stars
5/02/04 kate shaffer great fun film! 5 stars
4/23/04 Cristiana The most funny movie I've seen lately 5 stars
2/19/04 Randy Excellent Movie 5 stars
2/13/04 Sergio Vitale Probably the first lesbian funny movie!!! 4 stars
1/30/04 Katie Swanson What are they guys talking about? THIS is FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY! 5 stars
1/28/04 Katie This movie is pretty funny its not award worthy but I think its better than most comedys 4 stars
1/27/04 JJ saw at sundance very funny likeable silly sweet spoof -go see this movie 5 stars
1/27/04 Jimmy Chang there are lesbians and there is Devon Aoki!! No ?s asked 5 stars
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  25-Mar-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 07-Jun-2005



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