‘All American Bully’ is an attempt to make a movie based off of something that is considered a hot issue: bullying. The resulting film is a not scary (or intense) thriller that reeks of writers that take a social issue that they only had a news informed understanding of and exaggerate it to a point of ridiculousness. Of course, this is an unfortunately typical modus operandi for many similar films.
The plot of this film revolves around a group of geeky teens that spend all of their time playing fantasy role playing games and collecting rare art books. One of these books is stolen by their school’s bully and a confrontation ends in a homophobic tinged beating that is recorded and put online. This of course makes the kids the joke of the school so they put a revenge scheme into effect with deadly consequences.
Rather than a true thriller this feels more like a bad episode of ‘Law and Order: SVU’. Bullying is a real thing that happens, but most of the film’s incidents feel more like parodies of news stories than well thought out plot points.
The whole push of the film is that the internet can be scary. I guess that can be true depending how you view it, and also how you define scary. It is somewhat terrifying the effect that the internet can have on a person’s life, but I don’t think that is the same type of terrifying that keeps people riveted in their seats. Remove this component and the film becomes something of a weird revenge thriller.
I’m not sure what the redeeming qualities of ‘All American Bully’ are. It is clearly an attempt to capitalize on a hot button issue, but its writers don’t seem to understand the complexity and specifics of the issue they are attempting to portray. Also, its not that thrilling, which definitely makes for a bad thriller.