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Perfect Score, The  (2004)


Starring: Chris Evans, Erika Christensen, Scarlett Johansson

Director: Brian Robbins

Rating: PG-13

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Release Date: June 29, 2004
Review posted: June 25, 2004

Spoilers: None


Reviewed by Keith Helinski




Six teenagers from diverse backgrounds - among them the school's star basketball player - conspire to break into an SAT testing center to steal the answers in hope of acing their exam. They quickly realize that the answer to their problems and the key to their happiness do not lie in achieving a perfect score.




On the front cover of the DVD it says, “The Breakfast Club meets Ocean’s 11.” That’s not BS, it’s actually true to the whole entire premise of the film. In other words, The Perfect Score is a teen-flick version of the fine Ocean’s 11 remake in terms of the various scenarios, flash-forwards, and even to the score/music. Except in Ocean’s 11 there were plot twists that made you think and rethink the story; a very cool thing. However, in this film, the story is predictable and clichéd to the deepest core, it’s rather pointless and ever so corny. Really, how many more films do we have to see kids stealing the answers? In the case of this film, it’s not that exciting.  

The Perfect Score is not all bad, a very average teen flick at best. Teen flicks consist of over-the-top scenarios with a lot of drama, and a coming-of-age story with heart and pop-culture references (much like teens in reality). That’s basically what this film foils down to, a big bag of pop-culture gags and overly dramatic subplots. Yet those elements are not delivered well enough or cued up as provided in The Breakfast Club, and the film’s dialogue is not as satirical (or funny) as that of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 10 Things I hate About You, or the recent Mean Girls. It’s like I said, The Perfect Score is painfully avenge. During some instances I thought I was watching Not Another Teen Movie all over again.

The characters are as cliché as they can get: the token black guy, the jock, the druggie, the prom queen, the misfit, the over-achiever, etc. Also, the characters only find out about themselves and each other through their “adventure” together, and by the end of the film they have a completely new outlook on life. The cast wasn’t the greatest, a few nobody’s, a couple of “this week’s pin-up”, and a some actual prospering actors.  

The only thing that truly annoyed me about the film was the voice-over work from Leonardo Nam (who plays Roy.) First off, his character is a cliché druggie so he sounds stoned. Secondly, his voice is irritating to the ears so that’s already annoying. And third, he isn’t even entertaining. If someone else had done the voice-over work, or if there wasn’t any of it in the film to begin with, the film could’ve been two times better. But no such luck.  

Through and through, I did enjoy The Perfect Score for the most part, but was annoyed with a few aspects. I also didn’t feel it’s not as strong as other, much better teen flicks.



Paramount presents The Perfect Score in 1:85 anamorphic widescreen. Once more, this film is part of the fine “Widescreen Collection” so perfection is guaranteed. No grain spotted from what I could tell. Just what you would expect from a teen-flick.




Paramount presents The Perfect Score in either English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 5.1). Dialogue is as clear as ever. The music is as loud as perfection. And the few sound effects can be heard with greatness. But I wouldn’t blast this film in stereo, it’s not stereo material.




An interesting but sometimes lacking commentary by director Brian Robbins and screenwriter Mark Schwahn, some trailers (an easy way to plug other films), and a standard EPK-stlye "Making The Perfect Score" featurette. Not the greatest of extras but what did you expect from this film?  A possible cast commentary would’ve been worthy to hear though.




The Perfect Score is an average teen flick with average extras. There were a few fine parts but nothing rare. If you want a great satirical teen flick, go rent Better Off Dead, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 10 Things I Hate About You, or wait for Mean Girls. If you want a great coming of age flick, go rent Stand By Me.  If you want a “students steal answers” flick, see Cheaters. Or if you just want a teen flick period, rent American Pie 2, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or Sixteen Candles. Either way, there are a handful of films that are much better than The Perfect Score.




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