THE BAD BATCH follows Arlen (Waterhouse) after she's left in a Texas wasteland fenced off from civilization. While trying to navigate the unforgiving landscape, Arlen is captured by a savage band of cannibals led by the mysterious Miami Man (Momoa). With her life on the line, she makes her way to The Dream (Reeves). As she adjusts to life in 'the bad batch' Arlen discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who's standing next to you.
Hoo boy. This movie requires some effort. What starts off as a brutal exploitation flick, surely to weed out the meek, evolves into an absorbing treatise on primal human conditions in a barren, deserted wasteland.
While Ana Lily Amipour's sophomore effort contains pulpy roots, littered with outrageous characters and circumstances, it also tackles some grand topics. Our white trashy heroine Arlen is unceremoniously turfed out of society to fend for herself behind a Texan fence, where lawlessness and depravity are the rule of the day. She is soon captured by a tribe of cannibals, and mayhem ensues.
Dystopian futures as these don't seem all that far fetched any more. "The Bad Batch" may serve as a warning, but chiefly it serves as dusty entertainment. Much like the "Mad Max" franchise, it is a world full of crazies scrambling to survive in glorious sunbaked vistas.
Sporting a primo porn stash, Keannu Reeves pops up as a bizarro, robe clad cult leader. Giovanni Ribisi slips in several rambling, asylum escapee diatribes, but it is an unrecognizable Jim Carrey who absolutely steals the movie as a wizened bag man.
"The Bad Batch" has the art junk, lost inhibition, drug and music orgy feel of Burning Man, and because it's stealthily asking tough questions, has much more going for it than the cheap veneer may indicate.
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