Hungarian cinematographer Marcell Rév puts himself in the top echelons with his kinetic, vibrant work here, smashing Jacques Jouffret's neon-and-blood visual thrills from "The Purge" series into suburbia with a slick and easy violence, and when the world breaks down – as in one of the most brilliant and sickening home invasions ever filmed – he makes the stylish chaos all too believable.
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Levinson’s battling more villains than any script can take on, and by the end, his sharp jabs bleed into a gory finale that settles for cathartic cheers.
Levinson displays some amazing technical chops – most of which can be traced back to Joseph Kahn, but never mind – and there’s one standout home-invasion sequence toward the end. But some warnings are best heeded.
As Levinson swings wildly for the fences, Assassination Nation yields a modicum of payoff.
Assassination Nation may hit buttons in the moment, but looking back, it fades away as an experience as ugly as it is unpleasant.
The first hour is overwhelmingly exciting as Levinson uses split screens and more stylistic techniques to make his story pop. The dialogue is also delivered in impressively natural fashion, with the leading quartet discussing subjects that capture the zeitgeist. However, the ultra-violent finale goes over the top, lacking the pizzaz and inventiveness of the film’s earlier stages.
Energetically lurid, gratuitously violent and a hell of a lot of fun, horror-satire Assassination Nation is a throwback to black-comedy teen flicks of yore, but with a bitingly timely feel.
Assassination Nation tells you right up front what to be appalled by, then simply delivers what it promised. Unlike the best examples of either horror or satire, it ultimately comforts and confirms rather than challenges.
I might not be able to tell you what exactly Assassination Nation is, but the one thing I can confidently say is that it’s not easy to forget or dismiss.
The “social commentary” feels exactly as derivative as the rest of the film, like someone artlessly smushing together imagery they’ve seen, a sort of uncanny Muzak of hip provocation written by a less coherent Bret Easton Ellis.