The Bad Batch (2017)


Ana Lily Amirpour directs Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa and Keanu Reeves in this dystopian western where a desert has become a fenced off prison for America’s unwanted, a land of cannibalism, exploitation and hedonism. 

A loving father puts on music before butchering a captured person, he makes the mistake of listening to her ragged pleas, and kills her prematurely, wasting her body to decay in a land without refrigeration. A township raves under the watchful eye of a leader protected by a harem of uzi toting pregnant slaves. A new girl is chased by muscle bound women in rickety golf carts. Just some of the delights within. While far from a perfect experience (its metaphors are blunt and its entertainment value stilted by indulgent pacing), The Bad Batch is an admirable piece of genre filmmaking. Told with confident near silent visual elan, swinging from brutality to tenderness, and using fading stars as shimmering landmarks… this is auteur cinema. Will it develop a cult following? Can the man on the street wanting, if not another Mad Max, then at least another Doomsday, appreciate it? I don’t know. But it has a power and an energy and a black, pumping heart that’s undeniable.



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