Before I began Assassination Nation, I had a feeling that this wasn’t gonna be a movie that everybody will automatically be divisive. Even the beginning let the viewers know that this will be filled with trigger warning moments that some won’t be pleased with by the time it’s all over. With that being said, this Sundance contender looked absolutely bonkers, and it shows why people will end up loving or despising it.
What’s the Story: In the town of Salem, Lily (Odessa Young) and her three friends Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Bex (Hari Nef) and Em (Abra) are basically enjoying the carefree society where hooking up and chatting it up is the ordinary of high school. Although, when an anonymous hacker starts to reveal private messages, secrets, and information about the people in town, the town turns upside down in furious anger.
From the looks of it, my mind right away thinks this is the love child of Heathers and The Purge in a relevant and updated version of the Salem witch trial. And with honest truth, Assassination Nation really screwed with my mind trying to figure out if this was good or terrible. Unfortunately, it’s the latter. And I wouldn’t be surprised if people walked about at Sundance.
Writer-director Sam Levinson (Another Happy Day) wanted to create a visually striking world where being offensive is what human beings are capable of doing. But this is a messy script where it does have an interesting concept, but the execution is shot in the face after an hour in. There are some fantastic camera work and stylish choices in the way it was edited. One sequence, in particular, where it’s shot outside this house and it was probably the best sequence in the entire movie.
Sensitive? Well, you should probably not sit through this with its graphic violence and language that felt uncomfortable any time it has to bring up the energy for a little bit. Let’s just say this isn’t for the PC crowd.
Young and Nef were the only two out of the group of friends that are given a bit of depth. That being said, nobody in Assassination Nation is likable, not even our main girls. The amount of sympathy isn’t enough to know how flawed every single person it, and that’s mainly because these are underdeveloped characters that have little personality that exist in this universe.
We do live in a country where it doesn’t feel safe to be online where any hacker can press a button and reveals unpleasant things that you said and photos that are tasteless and wrong. But not all of us are psychopaths who want to see everyone burn to the ground for what they’ve done. America is never going to become a peaceful country where everyone gets along, especially with an idiotic President running everything.
Seems like I’m gonna be in the minority when it comes to Assassination Nation. I felt dirty while it was still playing trying to think would I go through that length to expose people I hate? But it will be one of the few movies of 2018 that’s gonna divide people in many ways. Leviton wanted to tackle its themes and topics, but it’s hard to tell if he attended to show forward into this hectic story.
Assassination Nation isn’t the type of movie everybody will like as it’s difficult to be pleased throughout this commentary on American that’s messy.