Asking For It has a B-Movie vibe as it has a group of radical feminists take on incels and the patriarchy.
|Screenplay By||Eamon O’Rourke|
|Where Can You Watch?||Film Festival (Tribeca Film Festival)|
|Genre(s)||Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Young Adult|
|Fala||Casey Camp Horninek|
|Chief Morill||David Patrick Kelly|
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Josephine “Joey” was a small-town girl who may not have been satisfied with her life, but that didn’t keep her from smiling and enjoying most of it. That is until a young man rapes her, someone who she thought was a friend, and she heads into a downward spiral. Which a woman named Regina gets her out of, and with the help of her peers, Beatrice, Sal, Fala, and the rest of the Cherry Bomber gang. Together they help Joey reclaim her power by taking on the system which enabled and encourages people like her rapist.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Reason(s) for Film Rating: Smoking, cursing, rape scene, nudity, violence. Gun use, homo-averse language, racist language
You Understand Most Of The Characters Motive
Trauma is almost universal when it comes to the female cast. It’s a bonding agent that dissolves the separations there could be, whether it is race, social mobility, or personal history. For, in the end, everyone is a woman who has been betrayed or violated by a man, and they feel that, for things to change, there needs to be action beyond protests.
Yet, on the flip side, you have their target for this movie, Mark Vanderhill, who dreams of the days when his privilege was absolute, unquestioned, and unchallenged. He is a manist, potentially an incel, whose mainstream success ended, and not he’d rather lash out at the world than be held accountable. And, of course, with so many men who already felt like they didn’t have significant power agreeing with him, he has created an army. One that wants to feel and have this power everyone claims they have and join together to defend it against a culture they felt has demonized them.
Justice, Not Revenge
While Asking For It could easily lend itself to being about radical and violent feminism, it isn’t about that. More so, I would say it is about justice, if not a cathartic release. For just in the area where Sal and Fala’s team are active, fraternities are getting away with rape, there is sex trafficking, and while it is known they can’t stop crimes across the world, they can at least handle local issues. And to truly show how there are lines that many believe shouldn’t be crossed, when Beatrice attempts to go beyond the planned attack on Mark’s MFM (Men’s First Movement), she is stopped for it is deemed going way too far.
On The Fence
The Majority of the Characters Lack Depth
Whether we’re talking about Mark or Chief Morill, the villains in Asking For It aren’t all that complex. As Mark, Ezra Miller uses his bravado to make his character more of a joke than the menace he shows himself capable of being. Then with Chief Morill? The caliber of Chief Morill is similar to that of a Russian villain. There isn’t much there in terms of layers. All you get are a handful of stereotypes. Thus, Chief Morill doesn’t become more than a racist and sexist old man who may not like the entitlement of the incel movement but has similar enough beliefs to work with them.
As for our heroines? Sadly, they aren’t developed much more than the villains. In fact, the majority are defined by their past trauma. For example, Beatrice’s grandfather was a pedophile and likely molested her, and so her part in Cherry Bomb seems to consistently be about getting to do to men what was done to her and taking things way beyond Sal and Fala’s plans.
And while Beatrice exists in the extreme, the other characters, too, are not built much beyond their trauma. So don’t expect to hear them talk about hobbies, the future they plan outside of putting men on notice, or anything like that. Instead, Asking For It regulates them to a name, an assigned traumatic event, and a handful of actions and punk-style outfits to help you tell them apart.
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
Asking For It, at best, is a cathartic release for viewers who want to see women get justice for other women. However, at worse, it’s a movie with shallow characters and a story that does press that incels and white supremacy can be the next generic big evil, but without giving us the villains needed to really drive that home.