Plot: In a brutal, post apocalyptic landscape, Molly (Julia Batelaan) lives on her own and wanders in search of resources, but even basic survival is no simple task here, so she always has to be on guard. She has honed her instincts and trained herself in the ways of battle, so if her bow and arrow somehow fails her, she can always scrap with her hands and more than hold her own. In addition to her survival skills and toughness, Molly also possesses some kind of special power, as if she can harness pure energy and unleash it on whoever she wants. As she fends off attackers and leaves behind a trail of broken bodies in her wake, Molly begins to earn a reputation as one of the baddest warriors in the wasteland. Meanwhile, word of her battle prowess has reached warlord Deacon (Joost Bolt), who happens to run an underground fight ring and of course, he would love to have Molly on his roster. While she has fared well in the open world, can Molly stand up to Deacon and his minions?
Entertainment Value: I love the premise of Molly, as a young woman kicks ass and owns the wastelands of a post apocalyptic world and finds herself pulled into a tyrant’s fight club compound. Of course, that concept is also going to make some viewers think of the Mad Max series and that can be a double edged sword, since it is a great premise, but those movies are a tough act to follow. Molly might not live up to the Mad Max legacy, but it is one of the better indie takes on the dystopian wastelands and doesn’t scrimp on the action elements. The movie’s limited resources are evident at times, but the production values are impressive and the attention to detail with the costumes, set design, and other visual elements is remarkable. All of those combine to create an authentic, believable world that seems lived in and for a post apocalyptic movie, the atmosphere is one of the most crucial ingredients. I could revisit the movie just to soak in all the visual details, especially in the intricate, layered costumes and all the little touches that make the world seem weathered and mostly abandoned. The action scenes are on the stilted side, but are still passable and fun to watch, while the performances are quite good, especially Julia Batelaan in the lead role. She is able to balance the tough, bad ass side of Molly with the more human, vulnerable side of the character. I would recommend this one to anyone who appreciates indie sci/fi cinema, post apocalyptic movies, or bad ass female leads on the warpath.
There’s one scene with a topless Molly cleaning her wounds, then getting into a wild brawl, but her breasts are only seen in very brief flashes, so it isn’t played for sleaze or titillation. The quick cuts and lack of focus mean that even if you’re offended by naked flesh, the scene isn’t likely to offend. A little blood here and there, but not much, though there is a consistent flow of action and violence. The fights are a little slow and kind of awkward, but work well nonetheless, as there is a kind of raw, panicked presence to the battles. These aren’t polished, masterfully choreographed duels, but the raw nature of the action scenes works in favor of the setting, as these people aren’t fighting for looks, but survival. When Molly uses her special abilities, it can vaporize her enemies, but it is done with rather ineffective CGI elements. Most of the visual effects are passable however, much better than I expected. The dialogue is fine and does what it needs to do, but the writing isn’t memorable. This isn’t a concern however, as the dialogue is never a real focal point in Molly’s approach. In terms of insanity, the movie has a wild presence throughout, but never really goes for broke with outlandish or over the top elements, so it feels like a standard sci/fi action flick.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
The Disc: Molly has been given the Blu-ray treatment by Artsploitation Films, who deliver the film in a bright, bold presentation. The film’s vivid color scheme is well handled, with rich hues and great overall visual depth. This is important, as the color spectrum is such a fun part of the visuals, while contrast is spot on and allows the bright colors to shine through. The image is also clean and clear, as such a new release should be, while fine detail is strong throughout. The disc’s extras include audio comments from the film’s directors, who share stories from the shoot and how the movie came to be, in a track fans should appreciate. You can also watch a half hour look behind scenes in a making of featurette, as well as browse some Artsploitation trailers.