Code 8 (2020) A Review

An interesting take on the superpower/superhero genre, but it lacks the action scenes that makes comic book/superhero films so much fun to watch.  An interesting idea though.

Certificate: 15

Director: Jeff Chan

Screenwriter: Chris Pare (screenplay by), Jeff Chan (story by)

Starring: Kari Matchett, Robbie Amell, Penny Eizenga

Genre: Action, Crime

Runtime: 98 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

This is not a superhero film.  So don’t go in expecting that.  This is a crime drama with people that just so happen to have superpowers.  If you took the powers out of the equation, this would still be the same story, they would just have to find a different excuse to do the terrible things they do.  The superpowers are just incidental.

Desperate to save his dying mother, Conner gets involved with a criminal gang with superpowers in order to make money to fund her hospital bills.  But things quickly get out of control and the simple job doesn’t go according to plan, and in a world where those with superpowers are heavily discriminated against, there aren’t really a lot of options for him.

This film had a really great premise, but I think it falls short of the aspirations it had for itself.  For a film including superpowered people, there is a sincere lack of action here.  A lot of filler and expectation, but nothing ever really comes of it.  Like I said above, I don’t think the inclusion of superpowers was really necessary, instead I see it more as a shameless attempt to jump on the bandwagon of what is popular right now.  I would have given this film exactly the same rating had the characters not had superpowers at all.  It would still be a fairly average Crime Thriller.

Robbie and Stephen Amell are always pretty reliable in action scenarios as we have seen previously, and both are capable of dialling up the emotion when necessary, so they were both solid choices for the leading roles here, but I would have liked a little more interaction between them and the other members of the team, who really are pretty forgettable.  I don’t know if I remember a single one of their names.  They are just there to serve as cannon fodder.

The drug dealing storyline was an interesting one, and could have done with maybe a film all to itself as it really is just a side line here and doesn’t really serve a purpose to the main story at all.  So again just an unnecessary addition to the main plot, which serves to make the narrative feel a little cluttered.  This could have been thinned out a lot and still had a pretty good storyline.

Not necessarily what I was expecting from it, but a decent story I suppose.  Don’t expect flashy action scenes and awesome displays of power.  You won’t get them here.  Code 8 is available now in Netflix UK.

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