Coming from the moderate success of her previous film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour gives us her latest effort The Bad Batch, a post-apocalyptic film that finds its meaning and power through its visual details, and less through its narrative.
The film opens up with a woman, Arlen, played by Suki Waterhouse, who is sent off to a desolate desert prison sometime in the near future. It is here that she learns to cope with the harsh life of prison.
A very vibrant film, it depicts a future world showcasing a decline in western civilization: crumbling prison systems and immigration. The film boasts a unique framework with convincing performances including a surprisingly speechless act driven by Jim Carrey in a small, yet pivotal role. Jason Momoa also plays his part well, though his accent does become unintentionally silly.
I found the final product to feel unfinished and even though it is one of the stronger original films of the year, it does a great job of explaining the differences between survival and violence as well as grasping the concept of “The Dream of Life”.
The Bad Batch is a contemporary film that has divided audiences, much like the groups in the desolate desert wasteland that serves as a prison, struggling to survive by any means necessary. It is a fine film with strong execution, though I felt the film has more to say and do.