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Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson) is a college student who dreams of completing a degree at a prestigious law school. Without the money and connections of some of his classmates, his prospects seem bleak when he is invited to join a secret college society called The Skulls. Some of the film’s early scenes are engaging after opening with the intriguing premise, but Rob Cohen’s thriller falls for the same problem as many other teen movies incur, and that’s an uninspired script.
Once Luke passes his initiation test for the group, he seems set for a path of wealth and popularity. But his girlfriend Chloe (played by the charming Leslie Bibb) and best mate Will (Hill Harper) are wary of this new status. Luke’s new pal Caleb Mandrake (Paul Walker) introduces him to the movers and shakers of the elite group, which includes politicians and judges. Luke has to distance himself from his friends. When Will, an investigative reporter for the newspaper, gets too close to the goings-on of The Skulls, he dies in suspicious circumstances. Luke is then hell-bent on uncovering the cause. He enlists help from Chloe and his former high school friends to try and expose the truth.
Unfortunately, the young actors are given little to work with – some of the dialogue is really sill – and mars whatever acting skills they possess. Director Rob Cohen does throw in some devilish action and refrains from using sex, gore and violence to carry out the story. The film will no doubt appeal to the young audience, as evidenced by initial box-office figures. Joshua Jackson’s work in Dawson’s Creek will help greatly.