“Reunion,” which tells what the lives of those lost during the Columbine tragedy might have been like, is eye-rollingly corny. I’m sorry, dudes. It is.
This is the sort of movie review that makes people think I have a big black hole of hate where my heart should be. I promise I don’t. What happened at Columbine was indeed horrific, and I’m absolutely not belittling that tragedy. It’s terrible when anyone dies, let alone young people with their whole lives ahead of them. But “Reunion,” which tells what the lives of those lost might have been like had they not been snuffed out on that fateful day, is eye-rollingly corny. I’m sorry, dudes. It is.
With the gimmick of a 10-year high school reunion, the film is (mercifully, I suspect) sparse on dialogue and uses flashbacks set to music to show the alternate future/past that the 13 victims would have had. Mislaid careers include a pilot, a biologist, a famous singer, and a novelist. Apparently, everyone would have been very successful, the Columbine shooting being the only thing standing in the way of a full and happy existence for all. Hilariously, in this idealized version of events, the teacher who was killed would have spent a couple more years inspiring students and then still dying before the 10 year mark. Maybe he had a terminal disease that I’m unaware of but, if not, it’s a strange choice for an otherwise rosy-colored parallel universe. And then the reveal we all knew was coming: None of this happened. These people are all dead because two jerks decided to play “Doom” with real guns.
The heavy-handedness and cheese with which “Reunion” illustrates this point makes it feel more like a report on “Inside Edition” than a tribute film. We all know it was an awful day. The victims were cheated out of a future and the rest were left to try and make sense of a senseless act. It never should have happened. But why revisit it in such a trite way? If you don’t have anything insightful to say, why say anything at all? Leave the dead to rest in peace.
Originally posted on FilmThreat.com (now defunct).