Code 8

Robbie Amell in 'Code 8.' (Facebook/Code 8)
Robbie Amell in 'Code 8.' (Facebook/Code 8)


3/5 Stars


In a world where 4% of the population is born with varying supernatural abilities, a desperate young man possessing special powers clashes with a militarised police force after committing a series of crimes


Code 8 is set in a world where people with powers are treated as second class citizens. The movie starts out with an alternate history showing the history of powered people and how they shaped the American landscape in both industry and political policies.

When we pick up the story, powered people are basically living in Magneto's worst nightmare. The Sentinals, in this case, are called Guardians, robocops capable of subduing gifted superhumans. There is also a new drug on the street called Psyke that is created from the spinal fluid of powered people which just creates more animosity towards them even if they are the bigger victims in this situation.

The movie is very reminiscent of X-Men but in a less fun way. X-Men has always been an allegory for racism and discrimination, and Code 8 picks up on that theme. However, Code 8 falls short on a few things. It's a perfectly fine way to spend an afternoon, and it's an enjoyable way to spend 2 hours.

The story follows Connor (Robbie Amell) who is trying to stay on the straight and narrow despite the discrimination he faces on the daily and a sick mother who needs medical help that they cannot afford. Connor is desperate and with not a lot of time on his hands to get said cash. Despite his squeaky, clean record, he is willing to do anything for his mother.

After coming on the radar of crime boss Garrett (played by Robbie's slightly more famous cousin Stephen Amell) for being a "class five electric," he falls in with a crew who pull off some daring robberies. There's something about Stephen Amell's acting that is repetitive. This is his first role after Arrow, and this character seems like Oliver Queen became a bad guy? Robbie Amell is definitely the better actor of the two cousins.

The film has a lot of characters that don't get to develop much in terms of personality, and they never feel fully rounded out. So all that we're left with are the first impressions we have of them. The story could have used more humour and the lack of it makes for an over serious film. Yes, the themes and story are of a darker nature, but that's exactly why it could have used moments of levity. It's a solid attempt at an oversaturated superhero genre and not a bad way to spend an afternoon.



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