The Bad Batch (2016)

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The Bad Batch

Continuing the trend of desolate Texas locale, I decided to watch The Bad Batch. I did not see Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, despite hearing really good things about it. I did see the trailer for The Bad Batch a few months back and thought it looked good. It seemed like the type of film that I would enjoy an artsy, stylish, female protagonist driven film that remains memorable. While that description is fairly apt, I could not help but feel disappointed by what I have seen. Its not terrible, I’m just struggling to praise the film as I would have wanted to.

The film looks to be a dystopian film that takes place in a wasteland in Texas. Arlen (our protagonist portrayed by Suki Waterhouse) is attacked early on in the film and has her arm and leg cut off and eaten. The area is ravaged by cannibalistic tendencies as people must hunt each other to survive. She eventually adapts to her missing limbs and comes across a little girl and her father, who are at first at odds but then begin to bond against the negative forces around them. The entirety of the film basically takes place in a desert like barren landscape, think Mad Max but way less on action and plot.

The film is too long for what is offered. There is minimal dialogue (which is okay if the screen time is being filled with something worth getting invested in). That is not the case with this picture. You find it hard to care for the characters who just kill each other and have no real redeeming qualities. Some of the shots in the film are quite nice but there is little to no reward sticking through the film. Its nice to see Jason Momoa in other films; I think he has the look of an action star which is why I think he’ll do well as Aquaman.

The narrative in this film is like the wasteland which this film takes place: its barren and nothing grows. I still want to see Amirpour’s previous film because perhaps this was just a risky misfire. There aren’t really any memorable moments or scenes that can detract from the general uninteresting plot development. Maybe others will find some joy out of this but this just wasn’t for me.

6/10

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