‘Molly’ (2017) Movie Review

I really dig post post-apocalyptic stories. There is something about the world as we know it ending that brings out the best and worst in humanity. It makes for compelling storytelling. A couple months ago, I saw the trailer for the film Molly, and it looked amazing, and now, I’ve finally had the chance to see the film. Read on to find out how Molly sets itself apart from your typical post-apocalyptic story.

Molly was directed by Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese from a script by Meuwese. The film stars Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt, and Annelies Appelhof. Bongers and Meuwese directed.

The film’s synopsis:

Mad Max meets Turbo Kid in Molly, an electrifying and imaginative tale of one young woman’s determined struggle to survive in an inhospitable world. In a barren landscape ravished by war, a super-powered young woman roams the violent post-apocalyptic landscape, armed only with a bow and arrow, to confront the dangers around her.  When a sadistic ringmaster who run an underground fight club hears of her supernatural abilities, he sends his sociopathic marauders to capture her and make her a star attraction in his cage fights to the death.

After months of anticipating Molly, I was worried the film would fall short of the hype. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Molly is a take no prisoners post-apocalyptic film that has unflinchingly brutal action, a badass yet sympathetic lead, and gorgeous cinematography.

Molly is the victim of vague experimentation. Whatever they did to her has left her with a devastating power, one which she rarely uses and for good reason. She has become a legend in the wasteland, to the point where she has to make sure that anyone who sees her use her powers doesn’t escape alive, for fear of who might want to use her for their own ends… a fear that is completely warranted, as she will soon find out.

So often in the post-apocalyptic subgenre, we are treated to a stoic lead character. However, this is what makes Molly all the more refreshing. Julia Batelaan is a revelation as the titular character. Mark my words, this young woman is meant for big things. Batelaan does a wonderful job showing us the various nuances of who Molly is: The vulnerable and lonely young woman with a power she doesn’t quite understand, the protective maternal side and the furious fighter. Molly isn’t the greatest fighter, but she is fierce and doesn’t quit. She knows where to hit, and she hits hard. If it comes to her or someone she cares about, she isn’t afraid to take a life.

No offense to any of the supporting cast, as they do a great job playing the various villainous roles, but Batelaan’s costar is the film’s take-no-prisoners fight scenes, due in no small part to the excellent cinematography, especially in the final act. The film’s final 32 minutes is one long, uninterrupted take, a shockingly beautiful and violent series of interconnected fights scenes that puts the similar 9 minute sequence in Tony Jaa’s The Protector to shame. The fact that they were able to execute this so well on such a low budget makes it all the more impressive.

Final Thoughts

Molly is a complex film. It juxtaposes beauty with uncompromising brutality. It takes a bleak world and introduces a strong emotional female protagonist who refuses to stop fighting. In a crowded and stagnant subgenre, Molly is a refreshing and much needed gasp of fresh air. Highly recommended.

About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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