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A Film Diary

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Watched: 3 October

I enjoyed Ana Lily Amirpour’s lo-fi vampire movie A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, so the utter duffness of The Bad Batch came as something of a disappointment. Made for Netflix, the story is set in the near (post-apocalyptic) future, and the plot centres on a young woman named Arlen (Suki Waterhouse), who is placed in a kind of giant, fenced-in desert area at the beginning of the film that contains two distinct communities: one a group of cannibals led by a big dude called Miami Man (Jason Momoa), the other an oddball town presided over by cult leader The Dream (Keanu Reeves). I guess on paper it looks like an intriguing premise, and our first glimpses of each place promise wacky, ultraviolent Mad Max-style shenanigans, but Amirpour’s film becomes boring far too quickly, even as it attempts to retain a sense of mystery by explaining very little. The director just doesn’t seem to know what to do with her characters and they, like the film, drift around aimlessly. Giovanni Ribisi and Jim Carrey pop up as wandering oddballs from time to time, but they just add to the pointlessness of it all. It frequently looks quite nice, at least. (*½)

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