Bad Education (2023)

Bad Education (2023)

Three teenagers egg each other into the worst possible graduation night

6.5

Movie

Taiwan
Mandarin
Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
2023
KAI KO
Berant Zhu, Cheng Chih-wei, Edison Song
77 min

TLDR

This nearly made me vomit.

What it's about

On the night of their high school graduation, three teenagers decide to admit to each other their darkest deeds.

The take

With its wildly different shifts between the film’s chapters, Bad Education feels like it doesn’t know what to do with itself, like plenty of newly graduated teenagers. The first chapter holds such visceral revulsion that it first feels like it would be a serious cautionary tale, commenting on how, without guidance, teenagers will led each other astray. However, its next chapter takes a more comedic route as the kids try to escape from gangsters and the police. While director Kai Ko reveals an excellent sense of direction and imagery, his style feels like it’s been wasted on ill-thought intentions and a poorly written script. Bad Education at least has stunning visuals and a short runtime to get through it all.

What stands out

For a directorial debut, Kai Ko creates such a visceral experience in Bad Education through image and sound alone. Even before the three teenagers start to talk about and do their terrible deeds, there’s already a sense of revulsion, as the camera captures the eerie, desperate movement of seafood caught for food, and the sound of the kid smacking his lips as he peels and chews the shrimp is dialed up for grossness. This visceral disgust might have been worth it, as this scene already hints at the dynamic at play between the three. However, this feels pointless when the film gets into a more comedic path in its second chapter. Had the film had a better screenplay, or better plot structure, the film’s violence wouldn’t have felt as senseless as it did.

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