You know that thing where a trailer looks really cool, then you see the actual movie and realize it’s absolute junk? That was my experience with Sheroes. It seemed like it would be fun from the preview. A genre picture about three trendy young women trying to rescue their kidnapped friend and taking down a drug cartel in the process? Sign me up! Regrettably, the product I got is a brain-dead action flick, made with amateurishness. Writer/director Jordan Gertner should hope nobody sees this film, because it could be a career-ender if they do.

The four friends fit squarely into cliched categories. Diamond (Sasha Luss) is the self-absorbed one, Ryder (Wallis Day) is the tough one, and Ezra (Orphan: First Kill’s Isabelle Fuhrman) is the goofy one. The fourth member, Daisy (Skai Jackson), has no real personality. She’s just present to be kidnapped. Yeah, this is a story where the non-descript Black character has to be saved by her more flamboyant white friends. To quote the great philosopher Moon Unit Zappa, gag me with a spoon.

At Diamond’s behest, the quartet takes a trip to Thailand. They plan to get drunk, snort coke, and hook up as much as possible. Soon after arriving, Daisy is kidnapped by a local cartel for reasons too dumb and bland to get into. The others decide to channel their inner Liam Neeson to get her back. Literally. At one point, Ezra gets on the phone with the leader, reciting Neeson’s “very particular set of skills” speech from Taken to him in an effort to appear intimidating. That’s the extent of the wit in Sheroes.

Storytelling is not a thing Gertner is interested in. Big chunks of the movie are almost music video-like, with rapid editing and obnoxious EDM music blasting from the soundtrack while the women scream, dance, and cavort around half-naked. In the later scenes, the script keeps contriving absurd explanations for how the ladies are able to procure machine guns, hand grenades, and rocket launchers. None of it is remotely plausible, nor is the idea that three untrained people are more lethal than a drug cartel. There’s even a pathetic moment where one of the characters rips off a rubber-mask, Mission: Impossible-style, revealing that she’s been posing as someone else.

Poor acting does the movie no favors. Wallis Day is the only one who gives anything remotely resembling a good performance, but she’s hindered by the weak screenplay. As the intended comic relief, Isabelle Fuhrman simply isn’t funny with her mugging and flailing around. Faring worst of all is Sasha Luss. The Russian actress sounds like she’s consumed by trying to phonetically remember the English dialogue. There’s a wooden quality to her speech, and at times, her inflection is directly at odds with what Diamond is supposed to be feeling.

With dull characters, a barely-there plot, inept action sequences, and comedic moments that fall flat, Sheroes fails to deliver the bare minimum of entertainment audiences might expect from a B-level genre movie. Everyone involved should be embarrassed.

out of four

Sheroes is rated R for pervasive language, drug use, sexual content, nudity, and some violence. The running time is 1 hour and 31 minutes.