Detention is overstuffed and overwritten. Its screenplay reads like the masturbatory fantasies of a hyperactive high school boy, filled with self-referential jokes, broad satire and countless references to films as diverse as Scream, The Fly and Back to the Future.
And I loved every minute of it.
The opening features a teenager being murdered halfway through narrating a Zombieland-esque montage, and by the end of the film the plot involves characters travelling back in time inside a bear (Really). This is all shot in kinetic, inventive fashion (even the opening credits, emblazoned on combination locks, posters and what-have-you around the school campus).
Detention is a perfect B-movie; it may not have incredible acting or make much (any) sense, but it exudes a sense of scattered, go-for-broke fun in every frame (unlike plodding B-movies like The Shaft). Not every idea lands – the self-referential film-inside-the-film cliché is unwelcome – but there’ll be something else to grab your interest within minutes. And it’s got a great soundtrack, featuring Metric, The Kills, TV on the Radio, Massive Attack and, uh, Hanson.
It deserves to be a modern cult classic, and if you haven’t seen it I’d strongly recommend you fix that as soon as possible.