Bad City is a stupid-cool place if you want to live in a heightened-reality Vampire flick cross Western.
This film initiates us into a world where carnage, chaos, sin and piles of dead bodies are normal parts of everyday life. Nobody is entirely good here, just varying degrees of shifty and it’s fantastic that in their reality they never pretend to be anything else. The film follows Arash a twenty-something handyman who is struggling to take care of a junkie dad while still coveting his own life that involves a different future to the townsfolk who are in his sphere. He’s prepared to make that happen in some small under the table ways at first, but presumably this is the same slippery slope that all residents of Bad City wrestle with throughout their lives. We are quickly introduced to the danger of pushing this life methodology too far where the consequence of bad behaviour seem far worse than smacking or punitive punishment by the state. In this universe the rule of the common-good is enforced by a monster (and sometimes vigilantism). ‘The Girl’ as she is known, is the mythological sheep in wolves clothing. Her bait is her young good-looks and her gender, the characters of the story gravitate toward her without any realisation of the danger they are in. The story is great in that it studies her just as deeply as the other main characters and we get to spend time getting to know The Girl, while an unease for the welfare of the people in her company keeps us on edge throughout.
So what makes this movie a western? The fact that it’s set in an isolated town where gangsters vie for dominance away from the eyes of the law… and there’s a Sheriff of sorts. This is a film with so many wonderful elements – I mean, what’s not to like about an apex predator that becomes a kind of moral compass in a wild underworld? Every shot is beautiful, the soundtrack is killer and the casting is spot on. I’ve read a bit of debate about the ending and there is so much more I’d love say about it but I’d hate to ruin it anymore for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.
Rating – must watch
Ehonda – fin!