Awww yeah. Love my post-apocalyptic films.
Not much of a story of how I got into this. Saw the trailer, looked fucked up, wanted to see it. It’s got Aquaman and John Wick in the film and it’s somehow about cannibals. What’s not to want to see? But… it’s a romance film? Really? Calling it out, I’m guessing whatever romance elements are in the movie are the reason why the film is getting less than stellar ratings and reviews (IMDB = 6.0/10, and RottenTomatoes = 43%). Regardless, I’m interested, so we’ll see how I feel.
Starring, we have Suki Waterhouse, for some reason credited as an “introducing” in the the trailer (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES  and the Divergent Series INSURGENT ), Jason Momoa (BULLET TO THE HEAD , CONAN , TV show GAME OF THRONES, and upcoming DC films JUSTICE LEAGUE  and AQUAMAN ), Keanu Reeves (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 , THE NEON DEMON , and THE LAKE HOUSE ), Diego Luna (ROGUE ONE , THE BOOK OF LIFE , CONTRABAND , and upcoming films FLATLINERS  and the remake SCARFACE ), Jim Carrey (DUMB AND DUMBER TO , KICK-ASS 2 , and SIMON BIRCH ), and Giovanni Ribisi (PAPA HEMINGWAY IN CUBA , AVATAR , and FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX ).
Now for behind the scenes. Writing and directing is Ana Lily Amirpour, known for short films. I guess this film has no score, so I’ll jump to the final crewman, the cinematographer: Lyle Vincent, known for a ton of unknown projects.
Like I said, I’m interested. Something’s telling me I’ll find the romance elements out of place or pointless, but I might like the movie just fine. Besides, Jim Carrey in a movie about cannibals? Sold.
This is my honest opinion of: THE BAD BATCH
Set in a post-apocalyptic setting outside of Texas, Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is one of the “bad batch,” someone not fit for civilized society and must find a way to live in wasteland desert. Almost immediately upon arrival, she’s ambushed by a group of cannibals, who cut off her leg and arm. Managing to free herself from chains, she also kills one of them, and escapes into the wasteland again where she’s found by a quiet hermit (Jim Carrey) and taken to a safe haven settlement known as Comfort, headed by the charismatic leader known simply as The Dream (Keanu Reeves). Months later after healing and getting a new prosthetic leg, Arlen heads back out in the wasteland to find those who deformed her.
Yeah… as much as I love my post-apocalyptic stories, this was sadly not as good as I’d hoped. I hesitate to say that it’s even good.
Thing is, the movie doesn’t start off bad. In fact, I kind of got sucked into it. I enjoyed the lack of dialog from Arlen and the vast landscape of the wasteland. Granted, I wasn’t getting any real semblance of her personality through all this, other than… she likes make-up and probably needs an attitude adjustment considering her laughable “bad girl” attire, consisting of a hat with middle fingers stitched in. But then she’s captured by the locals, immediately gets her arm and leg sawed off, it was grotesque, but in all the right ways. She covers herself in her own shit, kills the bitch who was about to cut more of her off, and escapes via laying on her back on a skateboard. I won’t lie, the visual is actually pretty funny.
Remorsefully, the movie mostly falls flat from this point on. Maybe a surprisingly realistic “homeless man” performance by Ribisi is very humorous, but now it becomes a really stale revenge flick that’s been done in better amateur films. Literally, she has a gun, finds one of the cannibals that stood by and watched her get mutilated and decided to take in Honey (Jayda Fink) and take her away from her father, the Miami Man (Jason Momoa). This movie is a bunch of walking from one place to another and randomness to boot. Arlen gets high, wanders into the desert, meets Miami Man, they talk about nothing that matters, and the list goes on. Nothing makes sense. There’s barely a plot that even the movie itself doesn’t seem to care about.
Never mind that, there’s also a ton of missed opportunities. The Dream has a bunch of hot women that worship him, most of them are pregnant, and all of them carry assault rifles. We never see them use it. Earlier in the movie, we saw that the cannibal community has a shit-load of hugely muscular Adonises, and it’s clear that the people of Comfort don’t like the cannibals. I don’t know about the rest of you, but two plus two equals four. If you have a league of intimidating cannibals and a group of armed pregnant women with guns, you obviously pit them against each other together because… God damn it, why wouldn’t you do that?!
I’m also not entirely sure why this movie insists on partly classifying itself as a romance. Nothing in this movie is romantic. The ending where Arlen wants to stay with Miami Man and Honey where they eat Honey’s pet bunny? That was funny, but… I don’t think that’s enough to call it a romance film, dark or otherwise. THE LAKE HOUSE (2006) had a man run over another man doesn’t suddenly make the romantic drama into a crime thriller. Fine, whatever, most of the movie doesn’t make sense, I should be used to this shit by now.
Overall, there’s not a lot to say because… it’s dull. It’s boring. I can’t say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely not good. It’s not without some bursts of enjoyability, but a lack of consistency doesn’t make it worth a watch. I’m not saying avoid it at all costs, but I don’t think it’s worth anyone’s time.
My honest rating for THE BAD BATCH: a weak 3/5