Film Review: Glaring Lack of Originality Handicaps ‘The Bad Batch’

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CHICAGO – Dystopia has been dissed out. Mining the negative vibe future world can’t seem to touch the rich creative vein any more and the reserves seem dry. Writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour may have an element within her interpretation that is hard core, but it’s not enough to understand the overall vision of her tomorrow world, except that we’re all part of “The Bad Batch.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

A vision of the future world, explored in films as diverse as (just the B’s) “Battlefield Earth” (2000), “Blade Runner” (1982) and “A Boy and His Dog” (1974), always had the desolation, the strange/mean characters and oddball counter-nirvana that develops as a reaction to the dread. “The Bad Batch” does not sway from this formula, and in fact embraces it, but its lack of original feeling is fairly apparent. However, it does have an interesting female protagonist, horror situations that are uniquely stomach-turning, and of course Keanu Reeves. The film is worth watching, but it drags when the lack of originality becomes apparent, and doesn’t add much to the overall movie prescience of our soon-to-be-lost culture and society.

“The Bad Batch” is set in Texas, where persons branded with the “bad batch” designation are banished into a desert-like existence. A young woman named Arlen (Suki Waterhouse), struggles to survive after her banishment, and finds out that a renegade-but-dangerous society has formed within the harsh environs. She is captured, and is tortured into bodily harm, but manages to escape.

After collapsing in the desert, she is rescued by The Hermit (Jim Carrey) and is moved to another place-within-the-place, run by a leader named The Dream (Keanu Reeves). Arlen becomes intent on revenge, and in that state of emotion gains an enemy, the mysterious Miami Man (Jason Mamoa). The faceoff between the two becomes the next scenario of the film, but also the question of who/what/where becomes important.

“The Bad Batch” had a nationwide release on June 23th, including in Chicago at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport, Chicago. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Suki Waterhouse, Diego Luna, Jason Momoa, Yolanda Ross, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Bad Batch”

Ana1
Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) of ‘The Bad Batch’
Photo credit: Neon

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Bad Batch”

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