AGGRO DR1FT puts messy incel fantasies on screen, in neon colors

This review from AGGRO DR1FT was originally published following its screening at the 2023 New York Film Festival. It was updated and republished for the film’s limited theatrical run.

It’s rare to see a film that challenges basic ideas about how films are made or what they should look like. It’s even rarer to see a movie in that mode that’s actually enjoyable. AGGRO DR1FTby Spring breakers And The beach bum director Harmony Korine, made in collaboration with rapper and music producer Travis Scott, certainly doesn’t look like a conventional film, but it’s also no exception to the rule. It’s strange and largely eventless: some viewers will probably switch after five minutes or less. But it’s also utterly fascinating in the rare moments when it’s actually coherent.

AGGRO DR1FT follows BO (Jordi Mollà), a middle-aged man who loves his wife and children very much. He is also the biggest murderer in the world. He tells the audience both things directly, through an omnipresent voice-over. For most of the film, BO wanders aimlessly through Florida, going from one meeting to the next. The encounters are only connected by his story, which only seems related to the plot about half the time. The plot, such as it exists, concerns BO’s attempt to kill The Beast, a demonic villain with giant wings who has two katanas and hangs out with scantily clad women whom he sometimes keeps in cages.

It’s not really clear what The Beast did to earn the contract on his head, but at one point he stands between two women in a bikini and sings, “Dance, bitch.” Dance, bitch” over and over until the scene finally stops and BO’s narration says, “There is magic in this cruelty.” I can’t say for sure what that means, but I can say that Korine seems to believe it to be true, and also that it’s right in line with the tone of the rest of the film. More than once we see several uninterrupted seconds of The Beast thrusting his pelvis while holding his sword and screaming, only for BO to intervene with a story telling us just how terrifying The Beats are.


BO rolls around South Florida buying sniper rifles and tells the crowd to be careful of strippers because if you stare into their eyes for too long you’ll lose your soul and meet other hitmen, including Travis Scott’s character, Zion, who seems to be taking BO under his wing. But after every short trip, BO always returns to his home base, where his wife has been waiting for him in bed, while her voice-over talks about how much she misses him and wants to have sex with him.

What makes this all fascinating, though, is… AGGRO DR1FT is accidentally a more insightful look at an incel’s fantasies than most films that actually attempt to portray the life of an incel.

BO is a bit of a schlub, but he has a cool, sexy job, a cool, sexy wife, and a family that he loves dearly and would do anything to protect. He also sees evil everywhere in a cruel and terrible world. It just happens to look like a demon in a mask, holding samurai swords. His wife is perfect and needs to be protected, but strippers are evil sirens who exist to steal men’s souls.

All this performative hyper-masculinity feels like it’s filtered through the lens of a 14-year-old boy yelling at Xbox Live during a game Modern Warfare 2. Evil is something you conquer with a special sniper rifle, and women were made to be protected, not talked to. The film doesn’t create a coherent ideology, but it’s clear that BO’s worldview is inherently self-righteous, and the world of the film contorts itself to justify it.

What is unique about it AGGRO DR1FT is to see all this presented so brazenly, and without the defense of irony or sarcasm to dress it up. But like most of the film, it’s fascinating to think about but an absolute chore to actually watch.

The most straightforward interesting thing about AGGRO DR1FTBut that’s what it looks like: shot entirely with an infrared camera, with neon colors changing often inverted and characters moving from bright, featureless red to bright, featureless blue, the film looks unique. These are not entirely successful choices; the film often just looks like an ugly mess of colors. But it’s a style that another, more carefully conceived and directed film could use. The blocky neon blur of the bright colors often used in infrared photography also gives way to the film’s best and most interesting feature: shifting artwork that appears within the colors.

Travis Scott as his character Zion in AGGRO DR1FT, standing on a boat


When a character or space (like the sky, for example) slides completely into a deep red hue, inky illustrations appear within the color, creating demonic heads, intricate machine parts, or presumably some other design. Korine thought it looked neat. These moments sometimes mean things, like when a huge demon monster appears while BO is committing a particularly nasty bit of violence, which seems to reflect his own self-image. While these illustrations pop up constantly throughout the film, especially in the second half, they feel criminally underexposed and like a disappointing waste of a great stylistic choice.

Reading all this, it may be tempting to assume that, despite its shortcomings, AGGRO DR1FT is at least entertaining or exciting. I cannot emphasize enough that this is not the case. For all the film’s talk of demons and murders, most of the film’s nearly 90-minute running time is taken up with characters driving from place to place, awkwardly hanging out, or walking through South Florida.

Write a review about AGGRO DR1FT let Korine win already. It is decidedly non-traditional and deliberately provocative. I can’t say the movie really made me angry, but I can say I’m glad Harmony Korine won. He earned it; AGGRO DR1FT is a stupid, ridiculous, headache-inducing movie to watch. It’s almost impossible to tell whether any moment in the film is completely a joke or completely sincere – that’s what it’s called AGGRO DR1FT, For God sake. It is a meaningless sentence, presented in capital letters, where a 1 stands for an I; for all we know, it might as well be Travis Scott’s gamertag. But the film is also more than that. It’s as clear a portrayal of a certain kind of distinctly male-coded inner life as I’ve ever seen, and there’s value in doing so in such a strangely unfiltered way. AGGRO DR1FT isn’t a fun or particularly well-made film, but it is the film I’ve been thinking about most this year. For better or for worse, that’s worth something.

AGGRO DR1FT is currently in theaters for a limited release. See the film’s website for participating locations.