Movie Review: Code 8 (2019)

Directed by Jeff Chan, Code 8 is a 2019 sci-fi action thriller based on the 2016 short film of the same name. In a world where a small percentage of the population have various superhero like abilities, Connor Reed (Robbie Amell) is a powerful electrokinetic user, trying to make ends meet for his ill mother on bootleg electrician jobs. Conner is soon approached by Garrett (Stephen Amell), working under notorious drug lord Marcus Sutcliffe (Greg Byrk). At the same time, detectives Park (Sung Kang) and Davis (Aaron Abrams) are investigating Sutcliffe, and Conner risks being caught in the middle.

+ Robbie Amell has always been the better actor of the Amell cousins and this is true once again here. Stephen Amell’s playing the bad guy is a refreshing change (I’ve seen him in Arrow and wrestling, both of which he was the good guy) so I feel like he may have enjoyed playing against type. Byrk (Far Cry 5‘s Joseph Seed recently seen in Rabid) is perfect as the slimy, desperate drug kingpin
+ the setting is just cool. Robot police men, various super powers and a ’20 Mnutes into the Future’ style city mesh perfectly to be both familiar and alienating at the same time. The disparity between how the poorer people live to the technology of the police force reminds me of personal favourite film, Dredd
+ the plot is mostly standard, but has enough little twists and turns to keep things interesting. I was surprised at one point where I thought the movie might be reaching its conclusion only to have things suddenly go in a new, very enjoyable direction

Conner Reed (Robbie Amell) and Garrett (Stephen Amell): you can tell who the hero is because good guys don’t wear beards.

– there is a moment near the end of the film that I felt was really out of character for the one involved, and frankly it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, particularly as it was never addressed, and the musical score seemed to imply this person was being noble and in the right for this decision

> a secondary antagonist has a bodyguard with him, played by Sarah Hödlmoser. Something about gorgeous women with nearly shaved heads really gets me going

Should you see this film: I remember seeing the short film for this many moons ago, and I had heard this movie was out, but unavailable in Australia. Thankfully, that has changed, because I really enjoyed the sci-fi world on offer here, and I hope to see more of it.


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