Before you get confused – I said Foxfire not Firefox. Thankfully no one has become that creatively barren that they feel the need to document the history of the web browser. There is hope for us all.

I’m going back in time just a smidge today in order to review Angelina Jolie’s seriously intense Foxfire. Never heard of it? Well you wouldn’t be alone. It is one of the first films she ever made, and isn’t even available on DVD in Europe much to my pain. The film follows four teen girls who would normally not associate with each other, brought together by the transient Legs (Jolie) who inspires them to stand up for themselves. The group learn a lot about life and friendship along the way, and also about their sexualities. And it is a story of female love and friendship.

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Angelina Jolie has played several intense characters over her long career. But none are more intense than Legs. It isn’t just Legs blatant lesbianism, which inevitably initially intimidates members of the group, that makes her intense. But it is also her fearless attitude intertwined with her fragile vulnerability. It’s a match up few could play convincingly, but it oozes out of Jolie’s pours with ease.

Legs is the catalyst in the chain reaction. She spends most of the middle of the film pretty silent, riding the wave of anarchy and teenage destruction that she started. You get the feeling that that is what Legs lives for in a way. She brings people out of their normal selves and then watches them. But her intentions are definitely not negative. While she may have gone to the school initially looking for trouble, when she found her group of girls – she cared about each one of them intently. And was even willing to kill for them.

After the group overcome a common foe, a bond is formed. It is a bond that is unbreakable once it had started. The girls were ‘running with foxes’ – a note made by their principal – and it meant they were a pact, loyal and protective until the end. But with the foxes comes the carnage. The girls, once they felt persecuted for righting a wrong, set about doing increasingly more reckless things. With the notion of “why not…?” they had free reign on what they could achieve together, and a lengthy suspension to experiment.

Possibly the most intense scene of the film involves Legs, semi-nude, tattooing a fire into her right breast in order to remember the night forever. Jolie’s effortless acting means there is a extremely believable transition from feisty transient to vulnerable young woman, who has been brave enough to expose herself to these virtual strangers. The girls reaction is of shock, awe and then agreement as they all get matching tattoos too. And despite Legs lesbianism, the scene isn’t sexual – just sensual and gives a real feel of sisterhood.

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Like all the best teen films, Foxfire is funny and warm when it wants to be, and it will make you laugh out loud. The chemistry between the five leads makes the film and I often found myself longing for my own teenage pals.

The end of the film ends with a choice for Maddy, the girl closest to Legs. She is forced to choose between her old life and the unknown adventure she could have. At first glance it could be seen as a choice between her love of Legs, and playing it safe, but really that’s only half the story. It’s the classic tale of youth. We’ve all sat back and wondered about what would happen if we ran away somewhere. If we had an adventure that never ended and surrendered the up and coming responsibilities of adulthood. Really, Legs was that reality. But I ultimately think it was the realisation that Legs was running from herself and her own life that made Maddy choose…

Overall it is a classic 90s movie with a lot of messages, a big heart and buckets full of coolness even after all these years. A definite must watch for any Jolie fan.

8.5/10

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