Review: RIOT GIRLS Doesn’t Deliver The Fun


Although it has a wacky and fun concept, Riot Girls never amounts to much because of an uninspired story arc and overly energetic execution.
Technical Merit

Riot Girls, written by Katherine Collins and directed by Jovanka Vuckovic, is a new heavily-stylized post-apocalyptic action-comedy. Although it hopes to be Mad Max by way of a high school comedy, the energy of the film is ultimately too overwhelming for it to be particularly effective.

The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic 1995 in which a deadly virus has wiped out the entire adult population and a town is divided into two rival gangs of teenagers who are constantly at war. Even though this world is certainly intriguing, the film does not do enough to build the mythology of the individual groups. Since the movie is under an hour and a half long, the film could have spared to introduce us into the world in a deeper and more interesting way.

However, even with more world-building, the movie would have faltered because of its generic plot. The story of the film is a pretty standard rescue mission, akin to quite a few other post-apocalyptic movies of this nature. As such, the film feels annoyingly unoriginal, particularly because the movie does so little to make itself stand out.

The only visible attempt at making the film feel unique comes with the dark comedy, although even this is largely a failure. There are a few moments that are chuckle-worthy here and there, but for the most part, the movie is rather joyless and bland. Even more frustrating is that the film repeats these few successful gags over and over again until one almost wishes the characters were bashing in their heads.

riot girls jocks
L-R: Atticus Mitchell
(CRACKER), Carson MacCormac (SPIT), Vinson Tran (KYLE). Photo by: Ian

Perhaps with some additional character development, the movie would have been more effective. The foundations for interesting character dynamics are there — they simply aren’t developed. For example, the relationship between the two leads is compelling and a unique twist on a trope common to the genre. Sadly, this part of the film feels more like an afterthought than a focus, preventing it from adding any real substance to the story.

The actors also try to give solid performances, although they are dragged down by the weak material. Madison Iseman and Paloma Kwiatkowski have great chemistry together and are, quite frankly, the only reason that this movie is worth watching. Iseman and Kwiatkowski both have a very natural screen presence and are able to deliver the lines, particularly the wittier ones, with ease. It’s a shame that they aren’t given more to do.

On a technical level, the film is so energetic that it becomes overwhelming. Although the movie can’t be faulted for lack of ambition, that ambition never pays off. Instead, the film feels like the unholy child of multiple different styles, from steampunk to retro to comic book. Because of this major identity crisis, the movie is not particularly pleasant to look at, and as such, becomes even less fun.

Riot Girls had a lot of potential, but it was wasted on a bland script and over-the-top execution. Unfortunately, this film will likely only appeal to a teen audience, many of whom won’t be old enough to buy a ticket because of the graphic violence it contains.

Riot Girls hits theaters and VOD on September 13.


Batwoman | Season 1 Episode 6 | I’ll Be Judge, I’ll Be Jury Scene | The CW

Watch new episodes on Sunday and stream Batwoman from the beginning, free only on The CW app: SUBSCRIBE: About BATWOMAN: Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own…

Man in the High Castle Tagomi’s Best Reactions | Prime Video

Nothing is a game for Nobusuke Tagomi. Don't miss him in the final season of The Man in the High Castle, November 15. » The Man In The High Castle returns 11/15. Watch the current seasons with Prime: » SUBSCRIBE: About The Man In The High Castle Season 4: The final season of…

Bond, James Bond | Prime Video

Your mission: binge all of 007’s adventures available now on Prime Video » SUBSCRIBE: About Prime Video: Want to watch it now? We've got it. This week's newest movies, last night's TV shows, classic favorites, and more are available to stream instantly, plus all your videos are stored in Your Video Library. Over 150,000…

Tree Secrets – Drag | Cake | FXX

When dressing up in drag becomes an actual drag. Written, Directed & Produced by: Justin Michael & Harry Chaskin Subscribe now for more Cake clips: Cake is a handcrafted assortment of bite-sized content served up to viewers as a tasty treat for the mind. Featuring a diverse array of narratives from storytellers both new…

These Consumer Goods Come At A Price | Broken Trailer | Netflix

Broken is a new investigative documentary series that identifies and deconstructs the systems that make consumer products vulnerable to fraud, corruption, and negligence - often at the expense of public health and safety. The series uncovers the truth behind the consumer price of the vaping industry, counterfeit cosmetics, plastics and fast furniture. Watch Broken, only…

Very Ralph (2019): First Office (Clip) | HBO

One man’s apartment is another man’s showroom. Learn more about the man behind the iconic brand with Very Ralph, streaming now on HBO. #HBO #HBODocs #VeryRalph Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Don’t have HBO? Order Now: Get More HBO: Get HBO GO: Like on Facebook: Follow on Twitter: Like on…

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia | Season 14 Ep. 9: A Woman’s Right To Chop Preview | FXX

When a trendy new hair salon opens up right next door to Paddy’s, Dennis and Frank go on the offensive to stop women from cutting off their hair. Meanwhile, Mac is reunited with his childhood dog Poppins. Subscribe now for more It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia clips: In the 14th Season of It’s Always…

Supergirl | Season 5 Episode 6 | Confidence Women Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of Supergirl Mondays, free only on The CW App: SUBSCRIBE: About SUPERGIRL: SUPERGIRL is based on the DC character Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, who after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here