Tuesday, October 25, 2016

GSS Best Of Fantastic Fest: The Bad Batch (2016)

A young woman new to a desert town finds herself consumed by revenge and the charm of her surroundings.

Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour


The Bad Batch is a trippy study of a dystopia with exiled, criminal outcasts, cannibals, an ever-shirtless Jason Mamoa and a charismatic yet cryptic Keanu Reeves, who is labeled as The Dream who, no surprise, surrounds himself with plenty of beautiful women. As far as a story, we follow Arlen's (Suki Waterhouse) unintentional path to finding a little girl who happens to be Miami Man's (Jason Mamoa) daughter. He's a guy of few words, almost despondent but Honey (Jayda Fink) seems to be his sunshine despite the bright, desert sun and misery that ensues on the surface.

Calling this a "love story" is more of a nod to the relationship between Miami Man and Honey, The Dream and all of the people that reverence him as he makes an appearance at his rave. Again, Amirpour relishes in using music in this sophomore feature as another beloved character that waves a wand of magic over its surreal visuals. Each character pays hefty to stay breathing and feeling alive becomes a majestic act of pride in spite of the circumstances.

Amirpour makes the kind of movies she wants. That's what keeps people and me talking about them with a head tilt and a smile. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night set a strong foundation that has ensured that I will eagerly watch every film of hers that follows. Read her intereviews and catch her speak; her voice is very much in her work. With that, The Bad Batch is something special, unwavering, and more thoughtful than it may let on.


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