December 30, 2017 – Stories of desperate people in post apocalyptic wastelands have been done to death in the movies, but this one is a bit different. While it is very familiar to those who watch these kinds of movies, it does a different kind of romantic vibe to it, featuring a cast of familiar actors in unfamiliar roles.
The film opens with Arlen (played by Suki Waterhouse of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”) being banished to a barren wasteland south of Texas as the result of some kind of future legal procedure. Those banished to this barren zone are called members of the “Bad Batch.” Soon after entering the wasteland, she is captured by “Bridge People” who cut off one of her arms and one of her legs for food. Yuk!
But Arlen is a survivor. She fights back against her captors and escapes, rolling along on a skateboard. She is found in the wasteland by a kindly hermit (played by Jim Carrey of “Mr. Popper's Penguins”) who transports her to a place called Comfort, which is kind of like a fortified hippie commune. Comfort is run by a man called “The Dream” (Keanu Reeves of “John Wick”). One of the crazier occupants of Comfort is “The Screamer” (played by Giovanni Ribisi of “A Million Ways to Die in the West”).
Comfort has outdoor dances at night, and drugs like marijuana and LSD are freely available at parties. Armed guards patrol the wall that surrounds the place. There are hints at some kind of farming going on, but no clues are given how Comfort manages to generate electricity. With the aid of a prosthetic leg, Arlen manages to get around. She seems relatively well off, but for some reason, she doesn't like a resident of Comfort.
While walking in the wasteland one day, she spots a vehicle near an old dump. There she finds two Bridge People, a woman and her young daughter scavenging in the dump. Angry over what the Bridge People did to her, she shoots and kills the woman. The young girl, Honey (Jayda Fink) follows her back to Comfort, where The Dream adopts her.
Honey's father, Miami Man (Jason Momoa of “Justice League”) is searching the wasteland for his daughter. His is a big, strong, fierce cannibal, who also happens to be a good artist. He finds the body of Honey's mother at the dump and also finds the hermit, who lets him know that Honey can be found at Comfort.
Miami Man and Arlen later meet in the desert and begin a very unlikely relationship. Miami Man threatens Arlen with death if she doesn't help him find his daughter. A third party unexpectedly intervenes, and things get even more complicated. There are more interesting twists and turns in this story.
While the violence and cannibalism are an acquired taste (ha!) I did like the way the story ended. The story kept taking unexpected turns throughout. I don't remember Suki Waterhouse from previous movies she has appeared in, but she gives a strong performance in this film. She has charisma and the camera likes her. I see she has a lot more films coming up. She looks like a star on the rise in Hollywood. This film rates a C+.
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