Harmony Korine’s Aggro Dr1ft is a tough to watch experimental feature that plays more like an elaborate prank than a movie.
PLOT: An assassin (Jordi Molla) is hired to kill a deadly adversary.
REVIEW: There’s at least one thing about Harmony Korine’s Aggro Dr1ft that’s amazing: the fact that being shot in infrared isn’t the most obnoxious thing about this 80-minute endurance test. It’s not much of a film but rather purely experimental fare that Korine could have released online rather than at a major film festival. Many have pointed out that it plays like a cutscene from Grand Theft Auto, where it is directed in infrared by a horny, none-too-bright teenager obsessed with the imagery for nineties gangster rap videos. This is a movie where the bad guy goes on for minutes swinging swords repeating “dance b*tch, dance” over and over (and over) again.
One does have to give Korine some credit for his audacity in that he’s made a film wholly unconcerned with either audience sensitivities (good!) or entertainment/ artistic value (bad). Jordi Molla stars as our hitman hero, who keeps repeating over and over, “I’m an assassin,” who goes on an odyssey to assassinate a demonic drug lord. He’s the only semi-recognizable cast member, other than rapper Travis Scott, who shows up as our hero, BO’s protege, Zion, who once asks BO if Julius Cesar wrote the bible.
It’s an experience that I doubt anyone would seriously call a film. Nothing happens in it besides BO getting hired by some generic bad guys to kill some competition. The entire script likely only runs a few pages, as what little dialogue there is gets repeated ad nauseam. The infrared lensing is experimental, but you get used to it at a certain point, even if Korine never does anything interesting with it. It likely just covers up his threadbare production, making the whole film feel like nothing more than a goof.
There’s really not much more to say about Aggro Dr1ft, as virtually nothing happens. I guess the best way to describe it is what a movie written by James Franco’s character, Alien from Spring Breakers, would have been like. The best thing about it is the sound design and music by Araabmuzik, which is so propulsive that it sometimes covers up how tedious the movie gets. The performance by Jordi Molla can’t really be evaluated, as you never really see his face, thanks to the photography, and the dialogue is intentionally awful. The character is thinly plotted, by design, with him shown to have a family (repeating “I’m a father” over and over), and he seems less bloodthirsty than others in the movie, saving some female slaves in the finale that seems straight out of the old Duke Nukem video game.
Again, this is more of an experiment than anything else, and it’s possible that Aggro Dr1ft completely vanishes or drops online following its TIFF debut. At least Korine keeps the movie short; if you watch this stone, it might be more fun. It was a mighty (but occasionally interesting) chore for someone that’s stone-cold sober.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/aggro-dri1ft-tiff-review/