4K Blu-ray Review: Mean Girls (2024)

Blu-ray Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

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As much as I had the pleasure recently of reviewing the 20th Anniversary 4K release of Mean Girls, I also had the displeasure of watching this film adaption of a Broadway musical which was adapted from the first film. Now, I will say that this isn’t a review of the Broadway musical, as I could actually see it working on stage in all the ways that it just doesn’t work off of it. I’m also a big fan of movie musicals, so characters randomly breaking into song is something I usually enjoy; however, Mean Girls (2024) is a completely unnecessary movie that’s just hard to watch – especially if you’ve recently (or ever) seen the far superior original.

Where to begin…this Mean Girls remake just completely lacks the heart of the original. At no point during the entire movie does it feel like these are actual people living out actual events. Forget the breaking into song aspect of it, I’m talking about the parts where they’re just supposed to be students conversing. When Cady shows up and meets Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey) none of it feels natural and organic like it did in the original. When Cady first interacts with The Plastics they recite most of the same lines and jokes, but it feels like that’s exactly what it is – a bunch of people acting out scenes from the original Mean Girls.

The songs feel awkward and also don’t naturally flow, as this isn’t a play. Again, I have a feeling that the music just works better on stage and helps tell the story at least how you’d expect it on stage, but when you’ve already told the story perfectly in 2004 and you take away the story being told from Cady’s perspective (here it’s being told—erm—sung by Janis and Damian) then you lose that vital narration by Cady that helped move the story of the original forward while also letting the audience connect with the protagonist.

Mean Girls as a musical feature film feels so disjointed in terms of storytelling (even though it’s hitting all the same beats as the original) that I was surprised that Tina Fey had actually written it. She wrote the stage play as well, so I shouldn’t have been overly shocked, but maybe it was more that it comes off as such a second-rate impersonation of the first film that I’m not sure how it got so off track with Fey helping bring it to life once again.

I mainly have to go back to just how unnatural everything feels. The first movie had heart and people watching, regardless of what high school clique they may or may not have been apart of, could relate with the overall moral of the story that we have to be better to one another. In this updated version that’s all lost, as instead of the moments that should have the most emotional impact actually being impactful, they’re often overtaken by a song that doesn’t help the story but hinders it.

There’s the addition of social media and after certain events go down we’re overwhelmed with TikTok type posts of people calling out other people, which I’m sure certainly does make high school an entirely new beast these days; but it’s not something that has any real impact on the story. News spreads a bit faster, I guess? Instead of saying a rumour of something happening spread like wildfire, we’re instead shown it via an onslaught of TikTok video rants.

But the 2004 Mean Girls is such a strong film that it surpasses the need to be remade just to keep relevant technology in the mix. Do rumours spread faster via social media these days? I’m sure they do. Does that mean kids today wouldn’t understand how people in 2004 heard about something without it being posted online? Unlikely.

Mean Girls (202 – I keep having to write (2024) because it’s got the same name as the original, when they really should’ve just called it Mean Girls: The Musical, because that’s what it is. If they thought that’d hurt long-term ticket sales, well, that’s kind of out the window a minute into the movie when the singing starts. Anyway, Mean Girls (2024) is just a movie that should be skipped. Whether you’re watching Mean Girls for the first time or you’re looking to share the timeless message with your kids, do everyone a favour and pick up the original (now out in 4K!), as even twenty years later it’s a far more fetch than this wannabe remake could ever hope to be.

4K Blu-ray Video and Audio Review:

Okay, while I truly disliked the movie and don’t think it’s worth watching over the original, there’s no denying that the 4K transfer for this movie looks spectacular for home viewing. Again, while the musical numbers just don’t fit the story on the small screen they do shine bright with a wonderful clarity, rich colours and deep blacks. So if you want to check it out despite my thoughts on it then know you’ll at least have some great visuals to watch despite it all.

On the audio side we’ve got a Dolby Atmos track that also rocks the room much more than the original – mainly because the original didn’t have characters breaking out into full on dance numbers throughout it. Yes, the score and soundtrack all boom beautifully, filling the room you’re watching it with dynamic musical numbers. So again, the audio and video transfers are top quality. It’s too bad that the movie itself doesn’t reach those same levels.

Special Features:

A New Age of Mean Girl – This is a quick featurette that’s just under 6-minutes in length and talks about how social media would affect the world of Mean Girls. While I agree that I can’t imagine some of the insanity that must go on in high school these days with the addition of social media, I don’t think that was really captured in the movie to the level where an updated version was needed.

Song and Dance – This feature is just under 11-minutes in length and is a behind-the-scenes look at the song and dance numbers within the film. The cast and crew talk about how they prepared for these numbers, and how they think they helped bring the movie a new feel and style.

The New Plastics – This is an 8-minute featurette that sees the cast talking about the original characters and who they identified with at the time, as well as how much it meant to them to represent these characters in the remake.

Extended Scene – There’s an extended scene here about having the party at Cady’s place.

Gag Reel – We’ve got a gag reel that’s under 4-minutes in length that shows that the cast and crew had fun making the film, which is always a plus.

Not My Fault (Music Video) featuring Renee Rapp and Megan Thee Stallion

Mean Girls Sing-Along with Selection Songs – Here you get to sing-a-long to some of your favourite songs from the movie or play. If you’re a fan then enjoy singing your heart out!

Paramount Pictures Presents Mean Girls (2024). Directed by: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr. Written by: Tina Fey. Starring: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auli’i Cravalho, Jaquel Spivey, Avantika, Bebe Wood, Christopher Briney, Jenna Fischer, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Jon Hamm. Running time: 112 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on 4K Blu-ray: April 30, 2024.

Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.