The Bad Batch
|The Bad Batch|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ana Lily Amirpour|
|Written by||Ana Lily Amirpour|
|Edited by||Alex O'Flinn|
In an unspecified near future, a young woman named Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is processed and dropped inside a fenced-in area outside of Texas where people being deemed undesirable by society (the "bad batch") are forced to live and fend for themselves as outcasts. A sign declares that the area is considered outside of the U.S. and that American laws and citizenship no longer apply. Shortly after, Arlen is attacked by two women in a golf cart. When she wakes, she finds herself chained up and discovers she has been captured by cannibals, who remove first her right arm, then her right leg. Arlen covers herself in feces, causing one of the cannibals to untie her so she can be washed, and uses this moment kill the woman and escape on a skateboard. She is picked up in the desert by the Hermit (Jim Carrey), a mute vagrant who takes her to a makeshift town named Comfort where she is cared for and given a prosthetic leg.
Five months later, a mostly healed Arlen heads out to the desert, where she sees a golf cart similar to the one owned by the cannibals who captured her. She finds a mother and daughter scavenging among a garbage dump. Realizing they are cannibals, Arlen shoots and kills the mother as a revenge for her ordeal. She takes the daughter back with her to Comfort, and is seen doing so by the Hermit. While there, she goes to a rave held by the Dream (Keanu Reeves), the cult-like leader of Comfort, and loses track of the child, who is taken in by the Dream. Meanwhile, Miami Man (Jason Momoa), the father of the child she took, notices his daughter and wife are missing, and goes looking for them. He finds his dead wife, and The Hermit, in exchange for a portrait, tells Miami Man to "find Comfort." Arlen drops acid at the rave and wanders out into the desert, where she stumbles upon Miami Man, who recognizes her as someone from Comfort. Upon threat of death, he demands that she'll accompany him to Comfort, where she'll have access inside the town walls so she'll be able to retrieve his daughter.
Arlen and Miami Man grow closer on their journey to Comfort. He defeats another cannibal who's looking to eat her, and reveals that he was put into the lawless territory because he was an illegal immigrant from Cuba. Before they arrive, Arlen is rescued by a man from Comfort, who shoots and wounds Miami Man and returns Arlen to the town. Feeling guilty, she begins to look for Miami Man's daughter. She eventually finds her living at The Dream's mansion. Arlen goes to visit The Dream, who explains that Comfort runs on the drugs that his many concubines make. When Arlen offers to join his harem, he accepts her offer, but Arlen instead uses her concealed gun to hold one of the pregnant members of the harem hostage, this way managing to extract Miami Man's daughter. They head out of Comfort in a golf cart, and soon reunite with Miami Man, who has been rescued and healed by the Hermit. Arlen returns the child to Miami Man, and tells him she wants to stay with him. Miami Man tries to discourage her, deeming her unable to survive out in the desert roamed by cannibals; but he does not send Arlen away. Instead, he kills his daughter's pet rabbit, and the three sit down around a campfire eating it.
- Suki Waterhouse as Arlen
- Jason Momoa as Miami Man
- Keanu Reeves as the Dream
- Jim Carrey as the Hermit
- Yolonda Ross as Maria
- Giovanni Ribisi as Bobby
- Jayda Fink as Honey
- Diego Luna as Jimmy
- Cory Roberts as the Bridgeman
- E.R. Ruiz as Lone Man
In January 2015, Ana Lily Amirpour was announced to be directing the film, while Megan Ellison would produce under her Annapurna Pictures banner, and Danny Gabai and Sina Sayyah would produce under their Vice Films banner. In March 2015, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, and Diego Luna joined the film.
The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2016. Shortly after, Netflix and Screen Media Films acquired SVOD and theatrical distribution rights to the film, respectively. However, Neon later acquired distribution rights to the film. The film also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2016. It was released in a limited release on June 23, 2017 and was made available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on June 22, 2017. The Bad Batch DVD and Blu-ray were released on September 19, 2017.
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On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 42% based on 84 reviews, with a weighted average of 5.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "The Bad Batch has its moments, but it's too thinly written and self-indulgent to justify its length or compensate for its slow narrative drift." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Guy Lodge of Variety gave the film a negative review, writing that "though there's much to savor in the pic's lavishly distressed visuals and soundscape, its narrative feels increasingly stretched and desultory." Lee Marshall of Screen International also gave the film a negative review, concluding that "the story runs out of steam – with a full ninety minutes still to go." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter concluded that "the movie is overlong and not without draggy patches, but it's sustained enough to keep you watching."
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- Marshall, Lee (September 6, 2016). "'The Bad Batch': Venice Review". Screen International. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
- Rooney, David (September 6, 2016). "'The Bad Batch': Venice Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 23, 2017.