2023's Weirdest Action Thriller Is Finally Streaming
The movie that defied expectation and categorization is finally available to watch.
In a time where literally thousands of movies and TV shows are at viewers’ fingertips, it’s hard for a movie to be truly surprising. Marketing has to lay out a movie’s entire premise and tone from the get-go in order to set it apart and show what’s special. Because of this, some great twists have been spoiled. Prey, the Predator prequel that caused a splash on Hulu last year, was initially supposed to not mention the creature at all in marketing, making it a shocking twist for viewers. Unfortunately, the allure of a new Predator movie won out and the twist was spoiled.
But one 2023 movie proved to be truly surprising. Instead of being a frothy high school R-rated comedy, it proved it could be a solid action thriller with a brutal ending, more Heathers than Superbad — and now you can see it for yourself on Amazon Prime Video.
Bottoms was marketed on a simple premise: two queer girls start a fight club under the guise of “self-defense,” but really it’s all to get close to their crushes. In the beginning, that’s exactly what happens. PJ (Rachel Sennott) and Josie (Ayo Edebiri) run with a lie about being in juvie and assemble a group of girls under the “supervision” of Mr. G (Marshawn Lynch).
The plot trods along the beats of a coming-of-age sex comedy until the end of the second act when PJ and Josie part ways after one of their club members is clobbered at a pep rally. While visiting her old babysitter Rhodes, Josie learns her school’s rival football team has a devious plan for their upcoming game: killing a team member.
From that moment on, the tone of the movie completely shifts. To try and save their school’s star football player, the club has to join forces once more and take on the rival team themselves in a bloody and brutal fight scene. “Yeah, we killed a couple,” PJ admits. “We killed... we killed a lot of guys. Let’s just... We’ll process it later.”
It may seem like this scene comes out of left field, but every teen comedy exists to some extent in a heightened reality. Bottoms just takes this to a new level, simultaneously giving its protagonist a triumphant moment and satirizing the real stakes of action movies that go overlooked.
If J.D. can plan to bomb his high school in Heathers and Regina George can survive getting hit by a bus in Mean Girls, an action scene with murderous football player casualties is only one step further. It’s nothing anyone expected when they walked into theaters, but now Bottoms is streaming, you can know just what a delight you’re getting into when you hit play.