ASKING FOR IT
From newcomer writer/director Eamon O’Rourke comes Asking For It. A story about a small-town girl, Joey (Kiersey Clemons), who is date-raped by a “friend” (Casey Cott). She eventually finds her way to an all-female extremist group of fellow survivors: “The Cherry Bombs.” The group decides it’s time to take their revenge on hateful men and their first target is MFM – no, not Male For Male. Men’s First Meeting is an all-male extremist group full of proud boys and misogynists headed up by Mark Vanderhill (Ezra Miller).
This film also has a star-studded cast! As your Cherry Bomb’s we have Vanessa Hudgens, Alexandra Shipp, Leslie Stratton, Radha Mitchell, and Gabourey Sidibe. Not to mention, Luke Hemsworth, Luna Bloom, and Lisa Yaro.
WHAT A LET DOWN
While on paper I was really excited about this film. I’m all about an anarchy-filled, smashing of the patriarchy film. However, that is not what Asking For It is at all. I appreciate what O’Rourke is trying to do by having a POC female lead cast and also trying to shed light on extremist groups on both sides. While also sort of pointing a mirror at ourselves…in a way..but no really. Every moment of this film falls flat.
I appreciate the cool editing choice of giving each member of The Cherry Bombs a comic book character-esque intro. This way we kind of know who they are and why they are a member of this group. However, because of the lack of actual world-building, I have no idea where and when we are, let alone how we get to these two far sides of extremism. Was there something that happened to create MFM besides Mark’s need to be famous and relevant?
I also never knew if I was watching a satire or a drama. Am I supposed to take any of this seriously? O’Rourke’s script never crosses the line in either direction leaving the viewer in a weird limbo. What could have helped would be pushing the line with the punishments the women inflict on these men because they’re all rather dainty. I need the line drawn in the scripts and hopped over. I honestly feel this film could’ve been improved by gore. If we’re talking extremists and anarchy then give me extreme anarchy! Don’t dance around it.
SWING AND A MISS
Even if I didn’t know already, it’s also very obvious that Asking For It is written by a man. The entire script does the amazing POC, female lead cast a disservice by writing about women’s experiences from an obviously male perspective. Asking For It is like a white man wanting to do something woke for woke sake. Instead of giving the film meaty scenes and moments, it seems as if O’Rourke has read a lot of blogs and tries his best to listen to women’s stories, and convey them in this film. But, it all misses the heart and soul of what it’s actually like to be a woman dealing with these horrible men.
I appreciate the effort, but in the end, I found this film to be one that could’ve been left on the shelf. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned to THS for more reviews, trailers, and exclusive news!