Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Asking for It

The first feature from writer/director Eamon O'Rourke has some interesting ideas and a solid enough cast to explore them. Sadly, Asking for It never quite figures out what it wants to be or how to get there. While there are flashes of a revenge story following the previously-cheery Joey (Kiersey Clemons) joining a group of militant women (Alexandra Shipp, Vanessa Hudgens, Leslie Stratton, Radha Mitchell, Leyna Bloom, and Lisa Yaro) on an Indian reservation after being date raped by a longtime acquaintance (Casey Cott), Asking for It isn't a revenge story. It also isn't a character study or drama. It's easy to focus on what the film isn't, but much harder to nail down what Asking for It is.

O'Rourke has larger plans that don't come come together as the film fails to work as the B-movie it could have been, and then circles back to in the end, but also isn't strong enough to work as a serious drama.

There is a thread of Joey moving beyond what happened to her and finding strength with the women. There's plenty to explore within the group, but we don't get time to learn about them as characters as the movie jumps quickly to them attacking nearby targets such as man beating up his girlfriend at a gas station and a local fraternity known for their attacks against women. From there, the women take on much larger stakes in an attack on a male-rights Internet guru (Ezra Miller) with friends inside the local police.

There's certainly a basic fuck the patriarchy message at play along with a call for women to embrace their power together, but the script can't find anything all that interesting to do with it ending in a series of questionable actions and decisions and an ultimately disappointing ending. It doesn't help that that the only good man in the film is vaguely gay partner (Sean Rogers) of one of the women's exes (although, to be fair, there have been plenty of films where all the women are equally one-dimensional). Asking for It is a bad movie, but it's not boring and I'll give it marginal credit for attempting to make more of what was on the page than was ultimately possible.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Asking for It
  • IMDb: link

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