Thursday, May 10, 2018

Movie Review: "The Bad Batch" (2016)

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Year: 2016
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 58 minutes

In a quarantined area of Texas, undesirables known as the 'Bad Batch' are released into the desert to fend for themselves. One woman must survive her journey through the desert, facing cannibals and other obstacles, to find out where she wants to settle and what she wants out of the remainder of her life in this wasteland.
"Just what are we doing in the goddamn middle of the desert tonight?" (Image Source)
In 2014, Ana Lily Amirpour burst onto the scene with her visually striking yet understated vampire romance "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night." That film received critical acclaim and left us wanting to see more from her as a writer and director. In 2016, she released her second feature-length film called "The Bad Batch." This film stars Suki Waterhouse as Arlen, a young woman who has been declared part of the 'Bad Batch' and has been banished from the United States into a fenced-off area of the Texas desert. Joining her are the likes of Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, and Giovanni Ribisi. After entering the dystopian wasteland, Arlen is captured by a group of bodybuilding cannibals. She escapes into the desert and is eventually helped by a drifter (Jim Carrey) to reach Comfort, the closest thing to civilization among the 'Bad Batch.' At one point, Arlen wanders back into the desert and kidnaps the daughter of a cannibal, bringing her back to Comfort where she loses her after going on an acid trip. Arlen wanders back into the desert and bumps into the little girl's father who wants his daughter back and wants Arlen to help him locate her.
"I'm just trying to live out here, same as you." (Image Source)
We were surprised and elated with "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night." Given our massive amount of love for that film, we sort of expected to enjoy "The Bad Batch." We're disappointed and upset to announce that we didn't like this movie AT ALL. It's not like it's provocative or shocking. Hell, we would've taken offensive over what we got here. We're upset because this movie is a boring, plodding, slowly paced, self-indulgent piece of cinema loaded with bad performances and a terrible, nonsensical script. It has long stretches of time where there's no dialogue, which serves absolutely no purpose. When dialogue does get introduced into the film, it mostly consists of the crazy ramblings of Giovanni Ribisi, either that or it's some banal, pseudo-intellectual interchange that's equally pointless. We don't mind the use of silence in movies. We also don't mind if a filmmaker focuses on visual storytelling so long what's being shown is compelling. Amirpour was very successful with this approach in her debut film, and we have seen countless other directors pull it off quite well. For this story and with these characters, this approach fails on every level. While there are still some striking visuals, some good art direction, and some interesting costumes, pretty pictures don't make for an engaging story.
"We're in the darkest corner of the earth and we're afraid of our own kind." (Image Source)
We are not pleased to say we vehemently disliked "The Bad Batch" and did not enjoy ourselves while watching it. We cannot recommend it whatsoever. It's not even one of those movies that's so bad it'll make for a good laugh. It's just dull, which is one of the worst things a movie can be.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.3/10
RT Rating: 42%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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