Written and directed by Sam Levinson (son of Barry Levinson) and starring Odessa Young, Hari Nef, Abra and Suki Waterhouse, Assassination Nation is the story of how a data hack that turns a lovely American town upside down and into a pack of animals. As the hack exposes the secrets of the townspeople, chaos ensues, and four girls are blamed and forced to fight for their lives.
Assassination Nation is billed as an action/comedy/crime film. With a combination like that you expect some chaos at a fast pace. This movie is super aggressive. It assaults the viewer with unpleasant images and uncomfortable subject matter purposefully in order to get a rise out of it. The way the film moves from subject to subject and scene to scene is tiring because it moves so fast as it attempts to put all these moving parts and information and situations in motion at once. Whatever Assassination Nation may be, it isn’t timid and it isn’t dull. It is balls to the wall art out loud baby. It gets in your face and beats you over the head with one social messages after another and then another; but not without warning. You are informed that the assault is coming. And when it’s over, you’re worn out. At least I was. All of this while it asks the question, if someone hacked your phone and released all of your data, what would your life look like to outsiders, people who don’t know you, your employer, your neighbor? Pretty effin’ brilliant concept if you ask me. How social media has grown from this lovely way of staying in touch with classmates, then family and friends, and now it’s like a monster. Or at least, it can be. Even if the execution isn’t spot on here, the action and crime are great.
Assassination Nation is a bit weaker in the area of comedy. I love a dark comedy, but this is not a dark comedy. Dark, yes. A comedy, no. The subject matter is just too heavy and aggressive, goes too deep and gets too real for humor. With the exception of Nef’s character, who provided nearly all comedic relief, there wasn’t much else to laugh about. I understand comedic tastes varies, but, no. The idea of a group of people losing their shit due to the fear of having their deepest darkest secrets exposed is not so far-fetched, so the situation could have been funny, but I didn’t see it that way. You may disagree.
This movie explores every toxic corner of our society and it is disgusting, sad and frightening to watch at times because you can totally imagine something like this actually happening. You really have to see it for yourself to judge, moreso than most other movies. It definitely isn’t a movie for all. But if you like horror and suspense I think you may like this.
The acting is quite good. Odessa Young gives it her all. Hari Nef is downright loveable. Understand that there are four teenage girls together much of the time so old fuddie-duddies may find the chatter and their conversations a bit annoying. The action is amazing. The gore is so great and disturbing it is just too satisfying to miss out on. The third act is enthralling, technically beautiful and provided a proper pay off for any suffering I may have experienced.
Assassination Nation earned 7 out of 10 bloops. An angry movie for our angry times and it is definitely worth a watch. It’s crazy but there is something hella-artistic about it. It’s like Kill Bill on meth. I would have given it a 6.5, but it got a well-deserved bump from that brilliant, beautifully executed third act and smart concept (even though I dislike the way it ends).
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
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