Askin' For It
Three high-school best friends who have a “Ride or Die” pact are going to a party. At first glance, this movie might look like your regular teenage movie cliché. Seeing pretty women with a “Mean Girls” attitude, underage drinking and frat boys with their ever-present red cups, one could think this movie would turn out to be a major flop. However, it pulls out the rug from under you when you least expect it and proves itself to be more than just another B-flick.
The film touches on a couple of sensitive subjects while dishing out the action of the plot. The first delicate topic is sexual harassment and cyber-bullying. Jezebel is sent a video of herself by her so-called boyfriend, who seems to have slept with her while she was unconscious and filmed it. Seemingly not the first time Logan has done something like that, this doesn’t sit too well with Taylor. Jezzy’s attitude towards the whole ordeal seems to be to ignore this very serious crime.
The film manages to showcase the real problems in today’s society when it comes to reporting sexual harassment. The victim tries to find all sorts of excuses for her abuser and blame herself for what happened. Jezzy’s decision is both wrong and right at the same time. She’s right in predicting what would probably happen to her if she went to the authorities with this. She’s wrong to let Logan go unpunished for it.
This short has great cinematography. The party lights give it a sense of urgency because they resemble the flashing lights of emergency services vehicles, which are sure to make an appearance at the end. It manages to successfully imitate other teenage movies without the stigma of plagiarism.
When it comes to dialogue, at times it may seem a little too contrived and forced. It’s like an R-rated version of a Disney TV series or high-school play. However, this might be intentional, to give the audience a false sense of security and make them think they know where the story’s going, only to leave them in shock at the end, with the big finish. The whole “ride or die” mantra seems to be a little overdone. Moreover, Jake seems like such a fake and stereotypical “bro” that it almost hurts the credibility of the short. It’s a good thing that the audience doesn’t have to suffer through his performance for too long. An even better thing is seeing him being kicked in the balls, as he was definitely asking for it.
The whole vigilante act of the film is a little bit troublesome. Not trying in any way to play the devil’s advocate here, but justice is served when a criminal is put before a judge and jury who should decide their fate. However, we can see why Taylor taking matters into your own hands is a much more appealing conclusion to the film than seeing Logan be but through a lengthy trial, by the end of which he might get a far too lenient sentence. After all, everyone knows how the justice system has failed to prosecute multiple sexual harassers, Brock Turner, and Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh being just two off the top of my head.
The film seems to have been widely appreciated at film festivals, by audiences and critics alike, and we can see why: good acting, terrific plot and a bad guy getting his due punishment. What more do you need?