Sometime in the near future, undesirables will be tossed into the desert to fend for themselves. Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is cast out and explores the world beyond the borders.
Well, if there’s one movie that has left me scratching my head and left behind for a few viewings before I review it’s this. From Ana Lily Amirpour we get this odd and quirky little cousin to the “been there done that” type of dystopias.
Nothing wrong with that of course if it’s done well, The Bad Batch feels somewhat of a mixed batch to be honest. The film starts out fantastically, oozing with fear and dread. Not a word is spoken except for some woman on a tannoy. Arlen is then kidnaped and dismembered by cannibals leaving her with just an arm and a leg! and that’s in the first ten minutes
Then she escapes, and then… I don’t know what happens really. While the language of cinema is show don’t tell The Bad Batch had me begging for someone to tell me what was going on. Well God bless Keanu Reeves as mystic leader The Dream. He sheds some insight about the current state of affairs but again, not so much. In fact, the whole Bad Batch thing isn’t really explained. Are they bad because what? All we know is that they’re exiled.
Jason Momoa actually kind of steals the show as the hulking Colombian cannibal simply known as Miami Man. He hardly talks, has a daughter, loves to draw she goes missing he sets out to find her. Jim Carrey also appears as well hardly recognisable as a silent hobo and yet with the talent involved I couldn’t help but feel a great opportunity was missed here. Camera work and establishing shots (and there are many) of the wasteland is great and all but hey, gimme something more to, ahem, chew on.
Not to say the film is terrible, you can see that everyone involved was dedicated, Waterhouse is great playing this outsider, I’ve heard the effects to hide her “missing limbs” were done practically and if that’s true it’s impressive as hell. Momoa has presence but like everyone, he’s underused. Long stares of nothing could have been replaced with a tad little more dialogue but hey, what is art? Art makes you talk about it whether it’s good or bad.
A mixed bag, great talent with some botched opportunities.