The Bad Batch

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Jayda Fink
Directed By: Ana Lily Amirpour

Plot: Set in a dystopian future where we label people as “Bad Batch” and kick them out of America and into Texas, which is now its own lawless territory, where people fight to stay alive, and some are even cannibals. Arlen (Waterhouse) is a new release into the area, and quickly runs into a pack of cannibals. After losing her arm and leg, she manages to escape, only to find out that this new world is not what she expected.

What Works: Look, we ask for original films to be made. We beg for new concepts, fresh ideas, interesting perspectives, and The Bad Batch is very much that, even if you try and say it’s influenced by other dystopian desert films like Mad Max. This one is full of unique characters and moments. Waterhouse does a good job carrying the film, but quirky little performances from Carrey, Ribisi, and Reeves also ekeep this film alive. There’s almost no dialogue in the first 30 minutes of the film. It’s just shot after shot. There’s a giant boombox that drives around like a parade float. Just a lot of really unique things.

What Doesn’t Work: The film is longer than it needs to be and drags at times. It should be more of an unhinged action/horror, but it moves too slowly in the mid-section to actually be effective. I didn’t love the film. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I respect what it tried to do, but I wasn’t always entertained. I will say I expected a much more violent film than I actually got. It’s a lot more thoughtful, and I think that curveball didn’t really work as intended. I came for a bizarre film, and I kinda got that… but with much more meditative moments than I had originally expected. It doesn’t always make sense, and the characters rarely make the choices you want them to make.

Final Word: I wanted to review a horror film for my 666th review, and I didn’t really get that. The gore here is minimal, and most of the film isn’t even violent. It’s OK to bend genres, I’m just not sure this was as successful at it.

Final Grade: B

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