Movie Title: The Bad Batch
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 58 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
During the opening credits of the movie it is revealed that the Bad Batch is a specialized prisoner category used in the Texas hinterlands. Inmates are tattooed and left behind a large barbed wire fence. It is lawless country designed to let the inmates run the asylum. The area is a wasteland where many of the natives have resorted to cannibalism. Our leading actress Arlen, played by Suki Waterhouse, does not take long to realize the harshness of her new desert prison.
Both dialogue and entertainment value are sparse. The entertainment value gets sparser as the movie goes on. The movie wastes no time getting gritty, unfortunately the grit is not compelling or typically meaningful. The world is not overly convincing. The stylized elements are boring and the pace is brutally slow. An editor needed to take a hatchet to this movie, but if they removed every scene that proved to be irrelevant there would have been a grand total of 30 minutes running time left.
The talent in the movie is also criminally under utilized. Momoa is tanning or otherwise skulking around on a moped for the majority of the movie. Giovanni Ribisi rants and raves in very limited screen time. Keanu Reeves does not show up until the 48-minute mark and also has a very limited role, which rings of nonsense in the dystopian hell his role inhabits. Jim Carrey does not utter a single solitary line and only has one scene that deliberately tries to be funny. It isn’t. The movie depends largely on its world building, but its world building is largely unconvincing. There is a community of men and women who only seem to lift weights and eat people. There is no possibility they could survive in such a fashion for long, but they are not shown doing anything else. Another community has significant resources in terms of electricity, but scarcely appear to have anything to eat. No one is seen to have direct access to water despite the desert climate. The towns appear wholly scavenged, yet they can chemically produce enough drugs for an entire population.
While the movie was billed as having a love story, it is nearly impossible to care about because the rest of the movie is such a mess. When you ultimately figure out who the love story is between (it takes quite awhile) you can basically just sit and scratch your head.
The Bad Batch is all style and no substance. There is very little to this movie aside from the world. The performances are either wasted or terrible. There is a concept and talent and no idea what to do with it. So, instead of plot we get 10+ minute drug trip sequences looking at stars in the desert that end up having little to no bearing on the movie.
The Bad Batch has a few cool sequences, but on the whole it is just a mess that barely strings together in any coherent way. Skip it.
Pop Chart Lab: First Scratch
12 Years a Slave, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Get Out
Tomorrow’s Movie: Baby Driver (2017)
I am going home to run right now. I came home to find my low hanging internet cables were taken out by my trash truck, so I am parked outside the library right now. I will post today’s run tomorrow.