Review: Code 8

Code 8, this isn’t your parents super hero movie.

You know the super powered mutants that saved the world, and did good deeds? No, this is a world where supers are second class citizens, left to be homeless and destitute because the unpowered are afraid of them. A world where what you are matters more than who you are.

Code 8 is a dark, gritty film. Think outlaw X-men in a heist film and you’ll come close. And it’s all around fantastic!

Back in 2016 they released a short film of Code 8 where an electric powered man, Connor, tried to save one of his fellow powered co-workers, and ended up causing an EMP that knocked out power for several city blocks. That was a fantastic film, well received, and incredibly well done with both CGI and practical effects that gave you a window into a fully developed world.

After that short film they went to Indiegogo and got funding to make a full length movie. At 1.5 hours long they expanded the world, added some characters, and made a few changes to really set it apart.

First, in the original short film Connor had a son. In the feature length film he has a mother who is getting sicker as the film progresses. The lack of money, and inability to save his mother from a disease they can’t afford to treat is the driving force behind his character.

Next the scene from the original film wasn’t in the full length film. They kept only a few parts, like the fact they were on a construction sight, but went in a totally different direction. They built up the action, having Connor slowly work into his powers as he has been suppressing them all of his life.

When the local crew comes looking for an electric the need to save his mother gets him to join up, and he starts down a road with the local crime boss.

The full length movie was dark and gritty. The character development progressed in a believable manner. The CGI wasn’t overwhelming, but added to the film. If I had a complaint it may be the sound. The music was on theme, but the sound mixing at times didn’t do a great job of keeping the level of the sound steady throughout. Still, it wasn’t too distracting.

The other part that could have been better is the ending. There were several plot threads in the film, and the ending tried to wrap them all up, but I still had questions. One thread I really wanted to see fleshed out more was Agent Park, and his daughter, but I had the feeling the writers were focusing all of their attention on Connor and the cops story line was just a little flavor thrown in.

If they decide to make a second movie (which I hope they do) I would love to see Connor and Agent Park working together, even if Connor is still on the wrong side of the law. That would be an awesome story. However there are currently plans to make a tv series around the property. No dates on when that will come out.

Go, watch it. You can rent it on Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, apple TV and several other places. It was also playing in select theaters in LA.

Suicide Squad: Review (no spoilers)

I know, the critics hated it. Suicide Squad got trashed by critics while the fans seemed to really enjoy it. Odd how that works.

I will admit, I’ve been a big Batman fan from a very young age, and I absolutely, unequivocally, LOVE Harley Quinn. I always have, I always will, I own the comics series she’s that awesome. Just a little crazy, completely without fear, and always trying to find some bit of normalcy even when everything’s not quite going right.

I think the Joker was actually the weakest part of this movie. Set aside the actors performance, the writing for the Joker just wasn’t as deep and thoughtful as the other characters.

I was actually very pleasantly surprised how they managed to put in origin stories for almost all of the Suicide Squad members, and how they were caught to begin with. Then they went a little deeper, showing what made some of them tick. That brought the characters alive, giving them more dimension. The villain (who I won’t be naming) added to that depth, showing what the characters actually wanted in life. Their deepest desires.

I watched a review before going (spoiler free, thankfully) that said the movie had a over arching theme of love. I think the movie’s theme was actually love verses hate. The main villain and the woman who put the Suicide Squad together are both operating out of hatred for something. They want to destroy (or be able to destroy) the things that make them afraid. The Suicide Squad, oddly enough, is representing the choice of love in their various incarnations. In Quinn’s case it isn’t the sanest of loves, but it still is love.

This isn’t a dark brooding story like The Dark Knight, and it isn’t a non stop action movie like some of the Avenger movies. This is an action movie that has a lot of character development. It shows the men and women of the Suicide Squad coming to grips with their place in life, and becoming a team.

Also, I have to admit the main actors, Will Smith and Margot Robbie really do fantastic jobs. Viola Davis does a great job of making me really hate her character, Amanda Waller, too.