Even as no-brain teen comedies go, 'John Tucker Must Die' is pretty idiotic, not to mention predictable, lazy and, occasionally, rather nasty. Some hard-to-dislike actors, a solid premise and a great title are wasted in an uneven script by TV sitcom veteran Jeff Lowell with dull direction from Betty Thomas ('I Spy', 'Dr Doolittle').

Three girls from different high school cliques - cheerleader Heather (Ashanti), hippie vegan Beth (Bush) and brainbox Carrie (Kebbel) - discover that they're all dating hunky jock John Tucker (Metcalfe, best known as the gardener on 'Desperate Housewives'). After they've completed the obligatory bout of brawling and hair-pulling, they band together to plot revenge. Despite the intriguing name, their method of settling the score is not to actually kill him - which might have added some interest to this film - but instead to try and destroy his all-important image by publicly humiliating him. For this they recruit mousy new girl Kate (Snow) who is flattered by the attention and hasn't enough self-confidence to tell the three schemers to go elsewhere.

Leaving aside the fact that most of the actors look too old to play these one-dimensional high school characters, 'JTMD' trades too much on stereotypes, covering all the tried-and-tired bases - cheerleading, basketball, dating, social cliques and friendship. Few clichés are left uncovered and intriguing plot elements, like Kate's sexy single mom (former Playmate McCarthy) who has her own series of adult John Tuckers, are abandoned in the ultimately unsuccessful scramble to make a fluffy comedy. This is one teen flick that's not worth wasting an hour-and-a-half of your life over. Best avoided.

Caroline Hennessy