Short Film Review: Code 8

“Code 8,” the short film that is intended to stand in as a trailer/proof of concept for the wildly successful Indiegogo campaign by the Amell brothers, is set in a near future science fiction world, where the small number of humans with special abilities live in poverty, outcasts from society.  The film is an interesting take on the “humans with special abilities” subgenre of science fiction, and in the course of the short film, manages to portray a “live-in” world, with a believable premise.

When I started watching “Code 8” I had a mental flashback to the opening scenes of the movie “Looper,” which has a series of establishing shots and narration explaining how some people in the future develop basic telekinesis.  In that scene, the people with their ability, as in “Code 8,” put it to use for basic tasks, or just to show off, but they don’t result in any serious changes in the status or life of the everyday person.  Going down this avenue provides a stronger basis to the story, as bringing the class struggle theme to the story moves it beyond “people with powers fight ‘the system’,” and adds a dimension that we as viewers can empathize with from our real world experience.

Robbie and Stephen Amell did a solid job setting the scene for the short film/future movie with their opening sequence, giving a strong feeling of a particularly “lived-in” world.  Watching the film, the family bonds, friendships, animosity between the normal and powered people, and the struggle to contain the power of the people with abilities feels real from the start.  The characters give a substantial sense that the issues which come up in the film have been happening for years, and the conflict between the law enforcement/normal people and those with abilities has actual weight.

I’m looking forward to seeing the full movie when it comes out, and I hope to see that it fulfills the promise of the rich and intriguing world that the Amells have built.  If you want to follow the updates on the film, check out their website.  Check out the film below!

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