Assassination Nation (2018)

I know we are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it's because of the poster that Assassination Nation caught my attention. Eventually, it lost it because I thought, and I have to thank Google for it, Bella Thorne was the lead. I've read several positive reviews about it ever since so I decided to give it a chance. 

The film mainly follows Lily (Odessa Young) and her friends, Sarah (Suki Waterhouse), Bex (Hari Nef), and Em (Abra), a group of high school seniors in a city called Salem. Each of them has her own daily struggles, but things get really bad when an anonymous cracker starts posting personal messages, photos and emails from everyone in their small town, and the four girls become the target of their community. 

Saying that the plot to Assassination Nation is a mess is a bit of an understatement. It is chaotic at its best, it's often unfocused —there are several plot points that seem to have a huge impact on the story but eventually, they go nowhere— and it is occasionally boring. It would also be one of the most absurd plots of the year if it wasn't terribly plausible in today's society, specifically in the States. 

It's also quite an important story as it deals with themes such as misogyny, feminism, sexual assault, bullying, racism, gun culture, morality in the digital age, lack of privacy online, and more. This is both the film's greatest strength and its biggest weakness. A strength because these are themes that need to be addressed; a weakness because there are so many issues to handle, some are barely exploited, and overall it feels like they could have done more with each. 

The characters are all unlikeable, underdeveloped and it would be impossible to care for any of them if it wasn't for the girls who are some of the most relatable characters of the year for people of a similar age.

The performances are pretty solid, especially from the four girls who share incredible chemistry. Odessa Young easily stands out though. Her performance as Lily is terrific as she brings to the character both vulnerability, fragility and innocence, and violence, and manages to make fun of her character and her generation in the process.

Neon, AGBO, Refinery29
The cinematography is a bit of a hit-and-miss: it is very vibrant and beautiful in some scenes; it's bland and lacks creativity in others. The soundtrack, on the other hand, is quite brilliant and manages to make the dull moments kind of grippy.

Overall, Assassination Nation didn't really convince me. It just borrows too many elements from other films —HeathersMean Girls, The Purge, to name a few— and it addresses too many issues for his short running time.


  1. Yeah...I think I'll pass on this one

  2. I liked it much more than you but I'm glad we both agree about Odessa - she was awesome! I hope she gets to star in many movies

  3. Nice review! I liked this one a little bit more, but I agree the story takes too long to approach its biggest themes (too many montages of slow-mo partying). Still had a lot of fun with it though.

  4. Feels like a disappointment.. excited to see it. :D