Code 8 Part II (2024)

Code 8 Part II (2024)

A generic action-thriller with good ideas stranded in a bland world

5.4

Movie

Canada, United States of America
English
Action, Crime, Drama, Science Fiction
2024
JEFF CHAN
Aaron Abrams, Akiel Julien, Albert Lapi
101 min

TLDR

Made possible in part, I'm sure, by the Screen Actors Guild, which hopefully certain cast members remember.

What it's about

In a world where superpowered individuals are heavily policed and exploited for an illegal drug trade, an ex-convict helps a young girl seek justice after her brother is murdered by the police.

The take

You don't need to have watched the first Code 8 (released in 2019) to enjoy Part II, which speaks to how this sequel has improved as a piece of sci-fi entertainment—but also hasn't done anything particularly interesting with its characters or themes. At the end of the day this really isn't all that different from so many other attempts at making a "gritty" superhero property, ending up as yet another crime drama that lacks personality for its characters or imagination in the way that its thrills are executed. It certainly has its heart in the right place, gesturing towards corruption in the police force, but even these insights feel half-developed and way too easy by the end.

What stands out

What's ultimately most impressive about Code 8: Part II is the leap in production value that you can clearly see from its predecessor. Where the first film was definitely rough around the edges and more than a little cheesy (and not always in a good way), Part II boasts that trademark Netflix glossiness (for better or worse) and CGI creations that fit seamlessly into the world. Of course, there are five years between both films, and that also says a lot about how difficult it can be to finish any project in the film industry. But the fact this was made at all feels like a minor triumph for the filmmakers.

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