Forgotten Action Cinema: Detention

You may say that this particular title is too new to have been forgotten already, but ask anyone within earshot if they’ve heard of this dodgy little number and you’ll see why I’ve decided to cover it. If you’ve ever wondered what a Canadian high school might look like if veteran action hero Dolph Lundgren was hired to teach history and physical education to a group of juvenile delinquents, perhaps it’s time you sat your entire graduating class down with a tired copy of director Sidney J. Furie’s ridiculously enjoyable 2003 thriller “Detention”. The picture — a generic chemical compound featuring several elements from “Die Hard”, “Lean on Me”, and, God help us, “Demolition High” — is the epitome of silliness, a 90 minute excursion into over-the-top theatrics, cliched scenarios, and teenage pregnancy. For instance, have you ever asked your grandmother for a cinematic chase sequence involving an electric wheelchair and a motorcycle filmed inside a high school? If so, “Detention” is locked, loaded, and ready for your consumption. Lundgren, meanwhile, appears to be operating on autopilot, allowing his legion of melodramatic co-stars to pick up the proverbial slack. In true Nu Image fashion, there are more expended shell casings than dialogue, more extended shoot-outs than thought-provoking characterization. But do you really need depth and drama and solid acting when there’s so many bullets and explosions and hair-brained plot twists? Of course not. “Detention” isn’t going to redefine the majestic art of the bullet ballet, mind you, but it should pack enough dodgy power to keep devoted B-movie followers from dismissing it altogether. Pop quiz next period; better bring your pistol.