The Assassination of a High School President - Review

One could be forgiven for mistaking Assassination of a High School President's Bobby Funke (Reece Danial Thompson) with a young, Catholic school version of Humphrey Bogart. Brett Simon's feature-length directorial debut finds the budding reporter unraveling a vast conspiracy at St. Donovan's High School, one involving stolen tests, point shaving, illegal drugs and attempted murder. Whether he's cornering the class president Paul Moore (Patrick Taylor) or taking his road test, the patter of Funke's near-constant inner monologue is pure Bogie.

Thompson brings the character to life in a way that few his age could handle. He does however get a fair bit of help from writers (and former South Park production assistants) Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski. The script in Assassination is nothing short of brilliant, a hilarious noir-comedy mixture in which each character is more colorful than the last.

Take Mr. Kirkpatrick (Bruce Willis), a no-nonsense, emotionally scarred Iraq war veteran with a strong hatred for troublemakers and gum chewing. Or the spaced-out school nurse (Kathryn Morris), who isn't really sure of where she is let alone what's ailing the students who come to see her. There's also the class hottie Francesca (Mischa Barton), a sort of "femme fatale next door," and her slimy brother (STEP brother, that is) and recently promoted class VP Marlon Piazza (Luke Grimes).