Assassination Nation

Assassination Nation ★★★

If someone were to offer me a wager whether Assassination Nation would emerge as a cult classic in five to ten years, I would likely take that bet. And I am not a gambler... I simply think that somewhere within this glorified mess of a film there’s something a weird subsection of the Generation Z growing up in the world of identity politics and with Trump in The White House could honestly latch onto. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if one day posters for this film will adorn student bedroom walls just like posters for Fight Club did at the turn of the century.

One has to admit that there is something strangely compelling about this hodgepodge of genre tropes borrowed from home invasion slashers, verbose soliloquies smelling profoundly of Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk, a lush visual toolbox tipping its hat to Brian De Palma and arrogant self-importance of an afterschool special about the dangers of social media. Understandably, it is an increasingly difficult film to like. However, when it is not fully self-aware and completely overtaken by its clear aspiration to be seen as a cerebral social satire, Assassination Nation actually works as a loaded genre film that’s more successful in conveying its message when the characters are not yapping incessantly about the burden of maintaining a social image, the public perception defining our right to exist or dismissing with due process as a result of equating allegations and verifiable evidence. Thus, an eerie phantasmagorical snapshot of Trump’s America is taken and dressed in over-saturated, hyper-stylized attire of an offshoot of The Purge, which in itself makes the film interesting enough to be recommended.

Granted, this is not the first film openly commenting on how the emergence of social media upset the status quo and redefined the way we communicate with each other and how we generally behave. I think we have yet to see the generation-defining piece that future film historians will refer to as a perennial classic perfectly summarizing the atmosphere of this particular period in the twenty-first century. However, as I said before, I wouldn’t be surprised if Assassination Nation eventually finds its audience and appreciation to this film eventually permeates into the mainstream of popular culture. It definitely lacks Fincher’s attention to detail and perfectionist attitude to the filmmaking craft, but – for better or worse - Assassination Nation is a strange grandchild of Fight Club and it may be a matter of time before it is rediscovered through word of mouth or the universe of memes and becomes celebrated as a forgotten classic that went through cinemas without registering on anyone’s radars because it was perhaps a bit ahead of its time. Or maybe it actually is a bit too arrogant for its own good after all...

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