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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Challengers (2024)

Challengers is an example to all - take out Zendaya and put in, say, Jenni Ortega, and really, who would have noticed?

Never has a project been more a vehicle for the next big thing, and it really, really felt like it, even if I personally don't see the worth in that thing. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened, after all.


You don't have to like Tennis, but it helps, certainly, but this is much more Match Point than King Richard, if you know what I mean. Entertaining in a way that pretty people are easy to look at, which tries to be something it doesn't have a cat in hell's chance of achieving, that being real drama, because of, rather than in spite of, the casting and equally limited story.

Two men who should know better chase the same girl over a protacted period of time for reasons best known to themselves, really. They're all involved in Tennis with varying degrees of success, but much like Ortega, Zendaya's reason for being appears to be as a muse for others, lavishing thinly (and I really mean thinly) veiled attention on a woman that really has no reason to cause such a fluster, assuming that Zendaya lovers everywhere will swallow this, falling over each other in the queue at the box office with mouths agape like our easily led tennis players featured here.

In short, Zendaya simply does not have enough about her to pull off the ingenue required which in turn makes the two besotted men come across as simpletons motivated by competition for their ambitions professionally and personally, guided moreover by the latter, which just makes no sense, as if Zendaya really was so irresistible, she would see through both of them in a hot minute and give them a wide berth.


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