‘Code 8’ Review
Crowdfunded movies could be a tough sell both with word of mouth and artistically. Fortunately Code 8 had a short film to show some of its tricks to make that a little bit easier and to eventually find global distribution in streaming. This low-budget sci-fi film looks much more expensive than it is which is the best thing you can say about one. It’s earnest with its world building and ambitions even if it doesn’t always completely show on the screen.
Where the film especially looks bigger than supposed to is in the visual side of things. The sci-fi classics like drones, robot cops and digital effects on cameras look good and the locations ground the story both to futuristic world and to street level crime. Cinematographer Alex Disenhof does a wonderful job for entirety of the movie, his shots look incredibly clear and gritty. When it comes to the characters, more of the intrigue can be actually found on the bad side as Stephen Amell’s (Garrett) gang of criminals bring out more action. Robbie Amell. who plays the main character (Connor), does alright but the character is brought down with a generic backstory.
The money was probably (wisely) allocated to the digital side but that does that mean some of the hands-on stuff isn’t quite up to the level of concept. Production design seems very bare-boned with bland looking interiors, you’d like to hope for a sequel so that the vision could be realised more with a bigger budget. In similar fashion (hah) the costume design, make-up and hairstyling could be improved as none of them really tell the viewer anything about the characters. I mean the robots have more sense of themselves than the people. Code 8 and director Jeff Chan still manage to stretch beyond their limits which is something I appreciate.
Smileys: Cinematography, Stephen Amell
Frowneys: Production design
Illegally hiring powered people to do construction is actually rather funny.