Saturday, July 25, 2020

Movie Review: Code 8

Stephen Amell is one of the male TV celebrities that I admire and follow online. He and his cousin Robbie Amell (husband of another TV favorite, Italia Ricci) recently made a movie that was released online called Code 8. It is an action/sci-fi movie set in a world where there are people born with powers, but this does not necessarily mean that life is better for them with it. 

Based on a short film of the same title, the movie is about Connor, a man with powers who is looking after his sick mother while he tries to make ends meet. People with powers are regulated in this world that they live in and they are monitored by drones that attempt to control power-related crime. 
It is odd how people with so much power in this movie allow normal people to treat them badly when they could just as easily fight back since they have superhuman abilities. I was a little confused by that, but I suppose the powerful drones that were shown to try to control/police them were probably stronger than most of those with powers. 
But I digress. Connor is trying to make ends meet and his mother is sick (actually, she was dying). He decides to take a job that turns out to be with a gang and its illegal activities. The leader of that gang (Stephen Amell) notices Connor’s potential and decides to take him under his wing.  
Throughout the movie, there is a power struggle between the gang and the syndicate that is peddling drugs made from the spinal fluid of people with powers. Things take a turn for the worse when the police get closer to catching them and Connor’s mother dies.  
In the end, Connor goes to jail and the gang leader (played by Stephen Amell) becomes the new head of the drug syndicate while the cop that was after them (played by Sung Kang of the Fast and the Furious movies) gets an award for taking down the syndicate head (who was replaced, but who cares?). 
I think that it was impressive that this movie became a full-length one after it was shown as a short film. I am interested to see that short film to find out the basis for this whole movie because I felt that there was more that could/should be told or explained in the movie but just was not included. 
According to some sites I have gone through online, the movie will be converted further to a TV show, albeit a short-form series on Quibi. Interesting. No word on whether this series will be a prequel or a sequel to the events in this movie, but it could be promising.
As far as the effects and the action sequences go, I thought they were surprisingly good. Considering this is not one of those big-budget Hollywood superhero movies, they did well in that department.  
If there is one thing that I will complain about with this movie is that the women were underused. There were very few women in the movie. It was very testosterone-heavy. The main females, while they all had powers, did not get to do much in this action film except to die or be rescued/allowed to escape by the leading man. Hopefully, this can change when they make the TV series. 
Some critics have given bad reviews about this movie, but I did not think it was that bad. Sure, it was not “amazing,” but it still entertained me in the time that it had to share its story. Considering that I am probably not the target market for this film and I still enjoyed it, I think that it is not as bad as some people peg it to be. 
Code 8 is available on Apple TV (and Netflix in the US if I am not mistaken). 


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