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A Sci-Fi Short Film, Code 8

Despite the fitting theatrical swansong of the mutant antihero character, Wolverine, in 2017’s excellent movie release, Logan, or the retro-enjoyment of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (especially in The Rogue Cut, a well-deserved extended edit), I think many genre fans are beginning to tire of the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are only so many superhero stories that one can watch, whether on the big screen or the small, before the novelty starts to wear off or the narrative hollowness begins to come through. It’s perhaps not unsurprising that some recent offerings, 2016’s Deadpool or last year’s Thor: Ragnarok, have successfully resorted to a fair degree of self-aware comedy, satire and pastiche to win over audiences grown weary with over-familiar fare.

So, I’ve become quite lukewarm on the concept of people with supranational powers in films and television shows, however those abilities are explained. That said, this 2016 short film, Code 8, is really nicely done, even if we’ve seen some it or varieties of it all before (the grunge sci-fi works of the South Africa director Neill Blomkamp immediately springs to mind). The LA-style setting, the direction by Jeff Chan and the performance by the lead actor, Robbie Amell, make it an engaging watch and something I’d like to see in a longer form. Which, apparently, is on the way. Lets hope it lives up to this early version.

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