Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is Feminist Rage Personified

Review: 'Assassination Nation' Is  Feminist Rage Personified

Women are tired of taking sh*t from men.

162
views

In Sam Levinson's new film Assassination Nation, Lilly, Em, Sarah, and Bex are four teenaged high school girls so in love with themselves and obsessed with social media they ignore the world around them. Their hometown of Salem has lost its f**king mind. This is why, when the sh*t hits the fan, they have no time to prepare for the onslaught of violence coming their way. Within the first two minutes, there is a huge trigger warning flooded with multiple triggers, and the film delivers on them all. Don't be fooled into thinking this is a satirical comedy. There is nothing funny about what these young women endure.

Lily (Odessa Young), Bex (Hari Nef), Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Em (Abra) are like so many youngsters of their generation. They seek social media fame, love, makeup, smoking weed, and love flirting with people twice their age. Lily is the leader of the group but doesn't trust her coven of friends enough to tell them she's been sexting the next door neighbor Nick (Joel Mchale). Things go wrong for the group when a 4chan script kiddies begin hacking into the phones of prominent figures in the Salem community.


Photo via BRON STUDIOS

Exposed as a gay crossdresser, the town mayor has his pictures leaked. Next, naked photos of the high school principal's daughter emerge, and the town labels him a pedophile. Salem soon spirals into paranoia as ordinary citizens suddenly find their text messages and private picture galleries are shared with everyone. Local police trace the suspicious activity back to Lily's house. From there, a slow tension builds, and the deluge of deadly hysteria hits the audience like a freight train and doesn't slow down for sixty minutes.

The film is more accessible if the characters are thought of as personifications of the different personalities of those who navigate the internet. Women receive the most abuse online no matter what intersectional crossroad they stand on; however, the main issue is social media can cause people to go nuts with call-out culture, which has become the norm.Writer/director Sam Levinson knows how to write empowering dialogue. Every actress has at least one monologue that is poignant, culturally relevant, and tailored to each character's personality. I found myself agreeing with their logic most of the time. Bravo to Levinson for making the women smart, capable, and self-reliant. Also, it is refreshing to see queer actors in roles where their identity is a non-issue, as actress Hari Nef is one of the leading heroes in Salem's feminist revolution.

Photo via BRON STUDIOS

Assassination Nation isn't perfect. The last shot is the young women of Salem joining the four main heroes on the street in a great show of solidarity among women. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the desired impact and is anti-climactic. After all that's happened on the streets of Salem, no one is coming outside to join this makeshift revolution weaponless and in their pajamas.

There could have been a bit more inclusion among the leads. White and black women aren't the only ones who receive online harassment, experience doxxing, and worse.

But what the film does, it does fairly well. Assassination Nation puts extreme toxic masculinity on display—and shows what can happen when men have too much control. In the time of #TimesUp and #MeToo, it is women who are at the forefront of change. For the women of Salem to live, they must rise and take back their power. But, it makes you wonder: can't we all just get along in this technologically advanced society? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: women are tired of taking sh*t from men.

Popular Right Now

For The Times I Come Off As A Little Too Harsh

Let's be honest, it's happened before, and it will again.

0
views

I have a resting bitch face. I have extremely dry humor. I can be brutally honest. I'm not great in personal conversations. Half of my smiles are fake….the list goes on.

These are just a handful of the things that I've noticed about myself, and what I've imagined people have assessed about me.

People have told me that they love my honesty or that my quips really make them laugh. I've become accustomed to a humor based on the element of surprise. Surprised that I could or would say that.

I come off as shy. And now, I'm not sure if that is the proper term. Shy or anxious. Or both. I don't think that anyone should have to tiptoe around me, or how I will take something, just because of that fact. And, that tends to apply to how I perceive others too.

I have an abrasive personality. As time goes by, I can think of many reasons behind it, but I know it can't be summed up by one thing. It comes from years of experiences, some good, some bad, and many within the gray area.

A couple of things I want you to know: I don't want to hurt your feelings. I don't want to create a distance between us. But, it's what I tend to do.

I hate the idea of people going above and beyond for me, but sometimes I secretly wish they would. I know that's not fair, but it is true. I live on an unbalanced scale of selfless and selfish.

Maybe it's a sense of articulation that I'm lacking. A word-choice. A tone. I'm admitting openly that it's probably all of the above. Cause though I usually mean what I say, I don't always mean it in the way I said it.

I seem cold, and sometimes I feel like I am too. I get frustrated easily. I get road rage, though only in the emotional sense.

I tend to keep things surface level deep. Yes, I might tell you a lot, things that you could consider difficult or vulnerable, but they probably aren't to me. On one hand, I comprehend the power of words, but on the other, I could tell you anything without feeling a deep and personal connection.

This doesn't apply to every situation, though it would be easier if it did. I don't want you to think I'm lying or don't care, even you might be the exception.

In truth, I care too much, though I won't readily admit it. And I definitely won't say it out loud until I have to. I am awkward without trying to be. So, I avoid awkwardness (unsuccessfully) as much as possible.

I rarely feel completely confident, though I do feel competent. I like to put things off as much as possible to avoid confrontation in my personal life. To bottle it up inside, waiting for the blow-up.

I have been told that I have a messed-up view on relationships and life, which stuck. Not enough to change, because I don't really think I'm doing anything wrong, but because criticism hurts.

I worry constantly. A perk of being an anxious person, but I can condense the worry when necessary. I surprise even myself with my interests and my personality, but I've learned to roll with it.

I feel hesitant to share so much of myself but also reassured that if, or when, I mess up, you might understand why.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments