Code 8 is a gritty and realistic take on the superhero genre (review)

Code 8 Review

Code 8 started out as a crowdfunding campaign, and to get people interested, director Jeff Chan and actor Robbie Amell teamed up for a live-action short film of the same name. It was an instant hit, and it made you empathize with the relatable characters. With the Code 8 film, it was able to expand on the short while still delivering a grounded and realistic world, which is different from the typical superhero genre.

In the world of Code 8, 4% of the population have powers, and many are living in poverty. Robbie Amell (The Flash) plays Connor Reed, a young man with powers who is struggling financially as he tries to help his sick mother. He is desperate for money and turns to a life of crime thanks to Garrett, who’s played by Stephen Amell (The CW’s Arrow). As Connor learns to control his powers, he starts to go down a darker path.

The setting and characters feel real, even though it’s set in the distant future where robots are sent to dispatch those with powers. There are no powerful superheroes saving the helpless or maniacal villains hellbent on annihilating or dominating the world. This is a simple story of an ordinary man who happens to have powers and is trying to earn money to help pay for his mother’s treatment.

Robbie Amell gives a solid performance, and he’s able to make you sympathize with him and his situation. Stephen Amell is perfect for the role of Garett, a leader of a criminal group who is looking for a bigger slice of the pie in the underworld. Even though Amell is the star in the Arrow series, he takes a step back in the film, allowing Robbie to shine. Sung Kang (Better Luck Tomorrow, The Fast and the Furious film franchise) plays Agent Park, an officer who is tasked with sniffing out the criminals with powers. Instead of the one-dimensional foil for the main characters, he has layers to his character. This creates an engaging drama of cat and mouse where you want both the cat and mouse to leave each other alone.

Code 8 is an electrifying film featuring ordinary people with powers in a tough world. It’s a gritty and realistic take that’s a nice change of pace in the superhero genre.

Code 8 Review Score: 4.5/5 Atoms

Check out our Code 8 review video below:

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