Suspense/Thriller: A teenage girl's former boyfriend turns into a dangerous stalker.
Nicole Walker (REESE WITHERSPOON) is a typical sixteen-year-old who has recently moved in with her dad, Steve (WILLIAM L. PETERSEN) and her step mom, Laura (AMY BRENNEMAN). She's a typical teenager, interested in boys and hanging out with her more adventurous friend Margo (ALYSSA MILANO). It's with her that Nicole meets David McCall (MARK WAHLBERG), a studly type who sweeps her off her feet with his kind and gentlemanly ways. They begin dating and he wins over the rest of the family, except for Steve who begins to have a bad gut reaction to the guy. Soon that's realized as David shows that he'll do anything for Nicole, including beating up Gary (TODD CALDECOTT), a good friend of hers, who David believes is interested in her. Nicole then wants out of their relationship, but David won't let it go and soon begins stalking her. Steve won't have any of that and soon the three find themselves in a deadly triangle of love and family.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teenage girls definitely will (with Wahlberg, a.k.a. rapper Marky Mark, present) and teenage boys might be attracted to the thriller aspect of the story.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong graphic violence and terror, sexuality, language and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
REESE WITHERSPOON plays a typical teenage girl. She does wear very short, short skirts and shirts that expose her bare midriff. She also dates David somewhat to rebel against her father, and has him sleep over while her parents are away.
WILLIAM L. PETERSEN plays the protective, but overbearing father who takes the law into his own hands by breaking into David's house and ransacking the place.
MARK WAHLBERG plays the sweet-talking, loving boyfriend who easily loses his temper and then turns into a raging psychopath by the end of the movie.
ALYSSA MILANO plays Nicole's best friend, who's a little too much of a loose girl and party goer (and she mentions that she was high in one scene).
This movie isn't much more than your run of the mill, "Fatal Attraction" type flick where a spurned lover stalks his/her former flame and finally attacks at the end (to prove their love for the former). The twist here is that not only does the lover attack, but his friends join in and suddenly the movie turns into a scene straight from George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead." Just like in that classic film, people barricade the inside of a house to keep the outside attackers, who are very determined and resourceful, from gaining entry. It's about the only highlight of the film, although Wahlberg (also known as rapper Marky Mark, and the underwear showing model) turns in an okay performance playing a parent's worst nightmare of a boyfriend. The rest of the cast is so-so, but don't provide performances you wouldn't see in a made for TV movie. For those who enjoy non-sophisticated thrillers, this one will probably be enjoyable. Everyone else will think that they've seen this one before. We give it a 4 out of 10.
OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
What appears to be a coming of age love story turns into a mean spirited and very violent film that probably isn't appropriate for younger kids. There are several sexual/sensual scenes that may be a little too ripe for younger teens and profanity is extreme. One character smokes what appears to be crack cocaine on two occasions, but other use of alcohol and smoking is rather mild. Again, the film turns very violent with many people ending up dead, most at the hands of the David character. This film might also scare younger teenage girls from dating for fear that they might start going out with someone like David who will suddenly turn bad. If your kids really want to see this movie, we highly suggest you carefully read through the category listings to determine if this is appropriate for them.
Viewers may also find scenes listed under "Violence" as tense and/or suspenseful.
Steve and David have several confrontational scenes about whether David can see Nicole.
David drives after and beside Margo on a seaside cliff road. She tries to get away, but he drives down the wrong side of the road and nearly hits an oncoming car. She finally stops and he gets out and physically threatens her.
The sequence at the end of the movie where David and his friends beat on the house as they try to get in will make many viewers tense.
There is a rap song that includes the phrases: "Murderous murder man," "Kicking down your front door. Let me get what's coming to me." "If I can't use my mind, I'll use my Tek-9" (a type of machine gun popular with gangs).
26 "f" words (1 used sexually, 1 with the prefix "mother"), 8 "s" words, 4 "ass" words, 3 hells, and 5 uses of "Jesus," 3 uses of "God," 2 uses of "God damn," and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
Margo mentions that a teacher had to "stare at my boobs" for several minutes before giving her an extension.
Margo and Nicole look through a magazine and we briefly see a naked woman sitting spread eagle on a chair, but all that's really seen are her breasts.
Margo and Nicole talk about guys "wanting them."
The first time Nicole and David kiss, he feels her clothed breast, but she stops him from continuing.
While riding a roller coaster, Nicole guides David's hand up into her crotch (under her short skirt). He then stimulates her there, bringing her to an orgasm (or close to it).
David pulls back the sheet Nicole is sleeping under. She's seen in her bra and panties and he then removes both, but no nudity is seen. He then climbs in bed on top of her and they have sex. Sexual movement and some sounds are observed. Later, Steve finds a condom wrapper next to her bed.
Margo and Nicole talk about Nicole losing her virginity and how she'll always remember her "first one" and not later guys she'll sleep with.
David tells Steve, "I know you ain't keeping up your so to speak end of the bargain with the Mrs. Otherwise, she wouldn't be all over my stick."
While making out with David in the backseat of his car, she tells him "I want you, David" and it's implied that they have sex again.
Margo sits on the lap of another man and moves her hips in a sexual way, but he is fully clothed. David then carries off Margo to have sex with her and her bare buttocks are seen as she's wearing thong-type underwear.
After smashing Steve's car, David has a left a note that reads, "Now I've popped both your cherries," referring to deflowering Nicole earlier.
We learn that Nicole (16) has only lived with her dad for a year and a half. They have the typical father/teenage daughter quarrels (over what she wears, etc...), but these later escalate as David gets thrown into the mix.
Steve slams a cabinet door shut after both Laura and Nicole are mad at him for having to work.
A guy Margo is dancing with suddenly grabs another man and head butts him and then everyone panics and runs out.
David sees Nicole and her friend Gary hugging after school. He races up and slugs Gary and then begins kicking him on the ground. When Nicole tries to step in, David pushes her to the ground and continues his beating. Later, Nicole is seen with a black eye.
Steve threatens David to leave Nicole alone and tells him, "I'll rip your balls off and shove them so far up your ass that they'll come out of your mouth."
David repeatedly hits himself in the chest so as to make it look like Steve hit him there.
David slams his car into Margo's as they drive down a coastline cliff road. She eventually stops and he gets out and hits her on the head and calls her a "lying f*cking whore." He then chokes her while threatening to kill her if things aren't made right between him and Nicole.
David takes a dart and etches the words "Nicole 4 ever" in his chest.
David chases Gary through the woods and knocks him down. He then grabs Gary and breaks his neck, killing him.
Steve walks into a parking garage to find that David has severely vandalized his car.
David confronts Nicole in the lady's room and while holding his hand over her mouth, he takes his other hand and feels her crotch.
Steve breaks into David's home and ransacks the house.
The whole end of the movie deals with David and his friends making their assault on the Walker home. The family's dog is killed and its head is tossed through the dog opening on the door. David and his thugs then begin beating the home to get in.
Nicole takes an umbrella and jabs it into a guy trying to enter through a second story window. He falls to the ground below.
Laura grabs a cordless power drill and drills through an assailant's hand as he tries to get into the house.
A security guard approaches and holds his gun on David and another thug. Steve then comes out and slugs both of the guys. But another thug shoots the security guard in the back, killing him. They then beat up Steve and take him back inside the house, and hold two guns to his head to make Laura let them in.
Inside they handcuff Steve and Laura.
Nicole's little step brother tries to call 911 from their truck's car phone. A thug sees him and fires several shots through the windshield. The boy then puts the truck in gear and runs over the bad guy.
One of the thugs attacks Nicole and Margo jumps on his back. The thug then pulls her off and hits her many times. He then goes back for Nicole, but David shows up and shoots his "friend" point blank in the head.
David then holds his gun to Steve's head several times and is ready to kill him, but Nicole stabs him in the back with some type of sharp wooden object. He then comes after her, but Steve (now without handcuffs) fights with him and eventually tosses David out the window where he falls to his death.