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Code 8: Part II

Code 8: Part II

The Amell cousins are back as reluctant anti-heroes with dreaded superpowers in a film that paints the police of the future as the devil.

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It's pretty bizarre what some filmmakers can do with a downright ridiculously small budget. Upgrade cost less than a season of the vastly overrated Sunnyside (and is one of the best films I've seen in the last 20 years), Clerks was cheap and is one of the best indie films of all time, and the 2019 Netflix film Code 8 cost pennies to make compared to other films, such as, say, Thor: Love and Thunder or Avengers: Endgame. Despite this, Jeff Chan and the Amell cousins (Robbie from Upload and Stephen from Arrow) managed to offer an enjoyable sci-fi back story with a well-built premise and pleasant tone where a future dystopia is characterised by excessive police surveillance and chronic oppression as four per cent of the population was born with superpowers and is considered "enemies of the state".

Code 8: Part IICode 8: Part II
It's dark, dirty and visually stunning, despite costing relatively nothing to produce compared to modern standards.

Code 8 blended the basic premise of Watchmen, the powers of Chronicle and the tone/aesthetic of The Boys with dark, dirty, inhospitable settings in a future Lincoln, Nebraska. It was by no means a film that I intend to praise or recommend very highly, but it wasn't bad either. Just okay, with a few bright spots and a convincing Robbie Amell in the lead role as the anti-hero Connor.

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Now the sequel is here and the premise is hardly unique. It all starts with Connor being released from prison after five years behind bars. Before he knows it, he's allowed himself to become embroiled in Garrett's (Stephen Amell) illegal activities and has a 14-year-old girl (with superpowers) on his hands who is now being chased by corrupt cops, and of course needs to be rescued. Part II, like its predecessor, is an anti-cop film that paints a future police state drowning in corruption and oppression in the worst possible way. It's dark, people are poor, they're doing drugs made from spinal fluid farmed from the spinal cords of enslaved superheroes, and violence is commonplace in the world of Code 8.

Code 8: Part IICode 8: Part II
In the future, the corrupt police (with their unbeatable robots) have paralysed society, according to Jeff Chan.

The Amell cousins once again do a convincing job with their characters, the effects are again simple, sometimes quite ugly, but still relatively effective. The cops are evil, the civilians born with superpowers are portrayed as innocently persecuted, and there is a lack of nuance and a bit of grey scale here, which I am glad that the character Garrett tries to provide. There is a bit too much exposition in the storytelling here which I dislike, not least because the story premise and characters are so simple and easy to understand that it feels entirely unnecessary, but Part II is a decent sci-fi thriller produced for pennies.

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06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
overall score
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Related texts

Code 8: Part II

Code 8: Part II

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

The Amell cousins are back as reluctant anti-heroes with dreaded superpowers in a film that paints the police of the future as the devil.



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