The Bad Batch (2016)
Dir: Ana Lily Amirpour
Let’s start with the positives. I’m feeling lots of love and harmony lately, and I’ve decided that I’m gonna try REALLY REALLY hard to see the good in things. Ironically I had this epiphany just before i watched this film so……sucks for me.
This film has Jason Momoa in it, who as you all may know, is fucking delicious.
It also has a good soundtrack- albeit bizarre, but good. In a Spotify playlist on major shuffle kinda way.
KEANU REEVES PLAYS A DYSTOPIAN PIMP
Jim Carey is in it, and he’s brilliant
Suki Waterhouse has a hilarious accent. Seriously you guys, it’s so hilarious, you literally have to keep rewinding because you will not believe she’s not joking.
It’s filmed nicely. It’s nice to look at.
There’s not much convo if thats your thing. Sometimes dialogue is overrated. Too many films contain dialogue nowadays, this film just skips that shit altogether. A movie is all about images am I right?
It’s made by VICE. It’s a VICE film.
Just so we’re clear. It’s a VICE film.
I also mentioned Jason Momoa?
Interestingly there’s more cons, which is unfortunate because I’m trying to be nice. What are those cons you may ask? What could possibly be better than a film devoid of dialogue about cannibalism with Jason Momoa?
A lot of things it turns out, are better.
I pride myself in my ability to sit through slow films that don’t really go anywhere. I wrote many a uni paper about Jim Jarmusch and Jean Luc Goddard, so when it comes to slow pace I’ve pretty much reached advanced level monk-like patience. This however, took it too far.
What starts off promisingly, with Suki Waterhouse being dumped in the desert kidnapped by cannibals and then consequently having her limbs severed off, turns into a trippy mess that really should have ended an hour before it did.
Everything happens in the first half hour; then it’s all random people in the desert drumming on bins and Keanu Reeves giving people acid. I totally get it, it’s art. The director is cool and edgy and wanted to make something odd and political, but unlike A girl walks home alone at night (an Iranian vampire western, just so we’re clear), this ends up feeling a bit like a really long Bjork video from the 90s.
My brother would have HATED this film so bad. When I think about who would hate it the most out of everyone I know, I’m confident in saying that I’m gonna go with my brother.
I myself quite like the juxtapositions between good and evil, which later transfer on themselves. I dig that, it’s art. But there are elements that borderline on the ludicrous, and you’re like….nah, too far.
*Warning major spoilers*
If I for example, killed your wife, stole your kid, and basically made you hunt me down as a consequence, I wouldn’t exactly be next in line as potential girlfriend. Well not according to this movie! Waterhouse and Momoa are basically full on about to hook up even though she took his child and literally just murdered his wife. Cool
Then there’s the prosthetic leg. Dude if you got thrown in the middle of the wilderness because you were excommunicated from life you wouldn’t expect them to have prosthetic limbs kicking around. I know it’s a film and the likelihood of this actually happening is extremely slim. I enjoy realistic details in unrealistic films. The realistic detail is that there are probably zero prosthetic limbs avaliable in the desert in high abundance. Probably.
What’s with taking the kid away from a perfectly safe place to return him to his cannibal dad? Like why would you have such a change of heart? You JUST MURDERED HIS MUM And the DRAMA she caused in the process. It then got way too unnecessary; holding a pregnant woman hostage just to get back the kid? She literally could’ve just asked Keanu Reeves. The conversation would’ve been super straightforward and that would’ve been that.
I really wanted to like this film. I wanted to because I like the director and I like the cast and I like the concept. On paper I like this film.
The reality is that it’s soul destroyingly long with no purpose. Zero. It was basically a shit “horror” version of Spring Breakers– very visual but lacked substance and context and therefore did a lot of overcompensating because it wanted to be cool.
It wasn’t cool.