A girl living alone in a post apocalyptic wasteland finds herself hunted down by marauders who want her to fight in their fighting pit for their entertainment.
If you’re into Tank Girl, Mad Max and Water World then this is definitely a film for you. Set somewhere on the coast of Europe (judging by the accents) this film quickly draws you into the plotline without much dilly dallying with backstory. This doesn’t have any negative effect on the film, however, as you’re given just enough information to understand that a Bad Thing happened and that this is the world now.
We first meet our heroine, Molly, (Julia Batelaan) in a really intense fight scene on a lonely beach. She successfully fights off her attackers, single handedly, and walks off into the wilderness.
Switch to an oil rig, just off the coast where a sadistic madman called Deacon (Joost Bolt) has created a fighting pit. Here we find out about a drug that turns ordinary folk into these monsters, called “Supplicants”, who are then used in the fighting ring to win glory and bullets for their owners. Of course, once he finds out that there’s a woman running around with super powers he MUST have her.
Soon we meet Bailey (Emma de Paauw), a little girl living alone on the edge of the wasteland, waiting for her parents to return, even though we know they’re probably not coming back. Molly soon realises this and after an attack on the camp she flees with Bailey while being chased by Deacon’s cronies.
From there on I won’t say too much more about the plot because while it’s a little predictable and formulaic, I still want you to give this film a go. It really does follow the same old post-apocalyptica tropes that you’ve seen in the films mentioned above, but this film is so beautifully shot that it would be a shame to write it off just because of that.
The palette that they use in this film is beautiful. Most of these kinds of films are usually gritty and grainy and not very colourful, but Molly definitely changes that. The colours are almost over-exposed which really gives you a sense of how the world has been burned, and how the atmosphere must feel. It helped me to be fully immersed in the world they were creating and really helped to capture the essence of this film.
There’s not a whole heap of dialogue in this film which I really enjoyed. Molly is on her own for the most part without anyone to talk to but even in the times where people are interacting with her she doesn’t say much. This lends a gravity to her which I liked a lot.
Deacon is pretty standard Bad Guy ™ but does a really good job of it. It’s easy to overact this kind of role and make it a bit of a joke, but he was very good at reigning it in when the part called for it.
Another thing I really liked was the fight scenes. They’re raw, and not over edited. The pacing is good, and it really helps the eye to not be overwhelmed by everything going on. Sometimes I could see spots where they had over-choreographed the contact fighting but overall they were really well done.
The camera action helped a lot with this, flowing in and around the fighters instead of being static and switching angles all the time. The final fight scene, within the oil rig, goes for almost 30 minutes alone, all the while being followed by this wonderful camera movement. It was honestly so immersive I found myself leaning forward towards the screen to try and capture everything that was going on, from the acting, the fighting, the extras, the choreography and the scenery.
Batelaan is a skilled actor, lending her character just enough weight to be believable, but also showing a really human side of Molly that we can all identify with. She’s definitely an actor to watch out for. I hope to see her in some different roles which will definitely show off all the talent I think she has.
Additionally, the women in this film weren’t shrinking violets, and had as much of a role to play as the men. The final fight included a long piece where Molly and Deacon’s right hand woman, Kimmy (Annelies Appelhof) spar backwards and forwards in a corridor. Their fighting didn’t pull punches and didn’t hesitate to show just how exhausted they were getting as the fight went on. Being pretty evenly matched meant that you honestly didn’t know the outcome of the fight, and the upper hand constantly switched between them, keeping me on my toes.
Weaving through all of this wonderful storytelling are flashes from Molly’s past in a mysterious medical facility, showing men in lab coats testing her powers with various weapons. Unable to tell if this was recent or if it happened far in the past, it was an intriguing addition to an already interesting story line. That, and the final scene left me wanting more: a prequel with an origin story and a sequel of what happened next.
Overall, it was a really enjoyable film. Don’t dismiss it as being too full of tropes, or overdone, because the rest of the film is sure to draw you in.
Watch the trailer here:
Gorephile. Singer. "Lady".