Finding “Comfort” in a Barren Wasteland – A Review of The Bad Batch
Written by Radio Heatwave on July 21, 2017
The opening of Bad Batch – a young female named Arlen (played by Suki Waterhouse) being released to a desert where anyone found there is no longer a citizen of the USA – already promises tragedy and chaos. Entering this desert meant she is part of “The Bad Batch”, branded with an inmate number behind her ear, and is left to survive the barren wasteland however she can.
The movie follows Arlen and her journey in finding her place in the desert, and depicts how two different groups of the Bad Batch survive in the desert. One resorting to eating anything or anyone they can find (yes, cannibals!) while another group depend on the kindness of The Dream (played by Keanu Reeves) in a small town of sorts known as “Comfort”.
Arlen gets captured by cannibals and has an arm and a leg cut off for their food. She manages to escape and gets picked up by a hermit (played by an unrecognisable Jim Carrey) who leaves her at “Comfort”. That’s about all we can say for the plot, it gets rather confusing and hard to explain from then onwards.
The Dream portrays the character of someone who takes care of everyone, almost like a “Don” in an Italian crime family. He provides the citizens of “Comfort” with protection from those outside, a good dance party every now and then, and some sort of drug that gives them – you guessed it – comfort!
Arlen crosses paths with a child takes her into “Comfort”, and eventually meets beefy, knife-throwing cannibal Miami Man (played by Jason Momoa) out in the desert while on a bad trip. They fall into an unconventional yet understandable friendship with a small hint of romance. It was kinda weird at first, but you learn to deal with it till the end of the movie.
A plus point for me was really the cinematography – it took my breath away. The film uses the neon aesthetic that’s so popular now, and the vivid colours make the bare desert look as alive as a Spring Break party in Miami. The bright, bold, and crisp colours throughout the movie makes you forget that the whole movie takes place in the middle of the desert.
The Bad Batch is badass because the movie does not explain much to you – from the reason they became inmates to how The Dream is able to provide so much for the citizens, but it will keep your eyes glued to the screen, waiting for what happens next.
If you’re someone who needs a solid storyline to like a movie, this movie is probably not for you. But if you’re someone who enjoys subtle metaphors and having to delve deeper to find the true meaning of something, this movie gives you just that. However, the movie is definitely a treat for the eyes with a plot that is definitely unconventional and one of a kind, and we do highly recommend it!
Written by: Jasmine Nazirah and Robyn Lee