Allison M. 🌱 @ HotDocs’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Why do you own 7 guns?"
When I heard about this movie, I thought it sounded in absolute poor taste. Certainly, I wasn't going to go to the movie theater to see this film. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, this was Saturday's film. For the first time, I ended up at the AMC in Arcadia, CA.
"Just calm the f*** down!"
The movie opens with a group text. The film title is written in one of the texts, which made for an interesting transition. Its strength is so many strong characters. There's a rumor on the internet that a bunch of "elites" are shooting up "deplorables". Athena (Hilary Swank) thinks using that word is better than "rednecks". I felt that the film showed the ignorance of people who resorted to name-calling and violence.
"Ava DuVernay liked one of my posts."
Even though the film is littered with familiar faces like Emma Roberts and Ike Barinholtz, the real star of this film is Crystal (Betty Gilpin). With her street smarts, she sees through everything and is physically prepared to take anyone or anything on. The couple at the gas station played by Reed Birney and Amy Madigan also make for a nice balance of comedy and horror.
"Who has the hand sanitizer?"
I have been writing about animal abuse on-screen and behind the scenes in my "vegan alerts". Sometimes I'll note abuse to humans if it is so horrific or if it can't be ignored. Never before have I felt that there was such a level of abuse toward humans that it felt like they were being treated like animals or worse.
"Don't First Amendment me."
What could have been an absolute mess, though, was handled with such eloquence. The action scenes were all choreographed so well and increased the tension. It was a whip-smart socio-commentary that was both brutal and humorous. It showed that with hate, it is possible for both sides to cut deeper and deeper until there is nothing left. People can think they are right and that the other side is wrong; hopefully in the real world, we will not resort to anything like this.
"It's f***ing great."
Beyond this film, it was crystal clear that without some kind of discussion and without empathy, we are just brainless morons fighting and destroying each other. And is that what anybody wants?
Vegan alert (light spoilers):
-Guy on plane requests fish
-Pig in a crate and used for bait
-Deer heads at gas station and Athena's house
-Story about box turtles being smashed with hammer
-Athena uses butter and gruyère on her grilled cheese
-Reference to cow falling on head
Don (Wayne Duvall) makes a reference to vegans.