Molly Blu-ray Review
Written by ZigZag
Blu-ray released by Artsploitation Films
Directed by Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese
Written by Thijs Meuwese
2017, 94 minutes, Rated PG-13
Blu-ray released on October 2nd, 2018
Julia Batelaan as Molly
Emma de Paauw as Bailey
Joost B olt as Deacon
Annelies Appelhof as Kimmy
Andre Dongelmans as Fifth Wheel
Arnost Kraus as Earl
Ali Sultan as Augre
Tamara Brinkman as Margaret
Molly is a mystery. We don’t know much about her except that she is on a quest. Her origins and destination are unimportant, but you would do well to stay out of her way. She doesn’t talk much and has little patience for assassins. She is a fighter, a scavenger and a survivor. Molly also possesses special powers that manifest during intense stress. Her reputation has spread across the post-apocalyptic landscape and there is no shortage of challengers to her skills. She crosses paths with a child named Bailey and ends up as her protector and defender. There is an evil mastermind named Deacon, a man who runs a fight club where the stakes are life and death, and he wants Molly as his star attraction. Participants are captured and drugged with a cocktail that turns them into feral monsters. He continues to send his minions into the wild in search of the legendary Molly, yet his efforts yield him only a large pile of body bags. Deacon changes tactics and arranges for Bailey to be kidnapped and used as bait. This is a mistake he will regret, as Molly is dedicated, loyal and deadly.
Molly is an English language Dutch film that has a lot to offer fans of post-apocalyptic, sci/fi action and cult movies. The picture starts with a rough-and-tumble fight scene that sets the tone for what is to come. We then move on to watching our titular character’s daily routine of scavenging for food and raiding corpses of their supplies. Molly is someone instantly likeable and fun to watch as she kicks copious amounts of ass. Armed primarily with a bow and arrow, she also carries a large blade and a gun with limited bullets. She cares for a falcon that acts as her eyes against approaching danger. Molly is a tomboy with glasses and a ponytail and lives from one fight to the next. Julia Batelaan is terrific in the role and is adept at the numerous action sequences. As tough as she is, she is not a superhero; she gets injured frequently. We get a peek at her sensitive side when she finds the abandoned child in the wastelands. It is surprising each time she releases an emotional shockwave that can kill her opponents. She must not be able to control this talent or she would not have to get into so many fights.
Co-directors Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese make a strong debut with this lively tale and should have a lengthy career ahead of them. Their creativity of composition and storytelling is refreshing and kept me entertained through most of the picture. There are some bumpy moments in the beginning and not all of the performances shine, but the action sequences more than make up the difference. The fight scenes are well-choreographed and do not look stagey at all. Many are filmed in a series of long unbroken takes that allow the performers to really sell the action. There is one sequence where Molly is hanging upside down and the fight is shown from her inverted perspective.
The weak spot of this movie is the villain. His protectors are more interesting than he is, as he simply watches from the sidelines for the majority of the proceedings. He is more a video game boss who comes in only at the end of the level after countless warm-up fights. Joost Bolt does a serviceable job in the role, but is never really threatening or intimidating. He isn’t the biggest guy and he isn’t the best fighter and is frequently outshined by his number two, a woman with a robotic arm. She is a more appropriate adversary for Molly and their face off is indeed impressive.
Co-director Thijs Meuwese’s script allows for some organic character development without spoon-feeding exposition. The last half hour is primarily one fight scene after another, but they are well-shot and creative in presentation. The film is left open for a sequel and I would happily sign on for another adventure. This movie surprised me despite its rocky start and I can easily recommend that you check it out.
Video and Audio:
Presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the film receives a strong transfer that is full of color and rich in detail. Black levels are appropriately inky and there is plenty of shadow activity in the final act.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is pleasing as the rear channels get a decent workout in the numerous action sequences. A Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is also included. Dialogue levels are clean and free from distortion. This is an English-language film.
Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.
The director’s commentary track is full of interesting information about the behind-the-scenes activity that goes into making a movie. There is much discussion of the numerous action sequences, performances and daily challenges of the shoot.
The Making of featurette (31 minutes) is more of a daily production diary rather than a collection of sit-down interviews. We see numerous scenes being blocked and rehearsed and we are also given a look at the finished product from the film.
The original trailer is also included, but contains many spoilers.