“A girl living alone in a post apocalyptic wasteland finds herself hunted down by marauders who want her to fight in their fighting pit for their entertainment.”
Directed by Colinda Bongers & Thijs Meuwese.
Starring Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt and Annelies Appelhof.
Going into seeing Molly for the first time, I was anticipating a lot from it. I’d heard a lot of stellar reviews and found that there was so much praise surrounding it. For the most part, those reviews were right, though there are some glaring things that I wanted to discuss that maybe could have been better.
I want to start with the good, I feel that’s the best place to start because for the most part, Molly is a fun, action packed film to watch. Our titular character is someone that you can really back, and get behind. She’s just a regular girl alone in a cutthroat wasteland fending for herself and you can really sympathise with her and her situation. Molly is by far an easily likeable character, she’s feral yet kind-hearted and I found myself cheering her on through her constant battles with the relentless gang of marauders that persisted on hunting her down. You can tell that Julia Batelaan put so much into the character and it pays off with how three dimensional her portrayal is. There’s so much drive in Molly’s character that keeps her going despite everything that’s being thrown at her and you can really feel her struggle as the film progresses.
The story itself was a fun take on the Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic fight for survival and although it may have been quite derivative from its inspirations, it still felt like something new and gave a small breath of life into the genre. I can’t say at all that I didn’t feel entertained, because I surely did, and I really did want to see how the story progressed, feeling captivated mostly due to Julia Batelaan’s performance. The focus shifts part way through to the relationship between Molly and Bailey (Emma de Paauw) and how they become so tight-knit in so little time and it’s so integral to part of the plot that these two are so close. Despite this, I couldn’t quite help feeling like we needed some more development in their bond simply because the progression of their story together felt just a little rushed in parts.
And now for the bad… though not absolutely terrible, Molly had some flaws that I just couldn’t shake. One of the biggest points I wanted to bring up was the inclusion of Molly having superpowers. It’s never really explained or brought up with substance, just hinted at with some dream sequences that never really flesh out the idea. Despite her having the powers, she also can’t seem to always use them to her advantage until the very last minute of her fights. The powers could have been such a cool addition to the film but I felt it just fell short of being interesting to the plot progression. On top of this, I think a little bit of backstory as to who everyone is and where they had come from would have worked for this film by a long shot. There are a few times where you just feel kind of… thrown into the story without any explanation.
A character performance that I did really pick up on was Deacon (Joost Bolt) who felt more like a parody of a villain at times than someone to actually be weary or threatened by. His dialogue came across as almost cheesy to points where he simply didn’t feel like that big of a threat to Molly, which did kind of ruin a little bit of the storyline for me. More threatening and imposing was his henchwoman Kimmy (Annelies Appelhof) who came off acting and fighting like a total machine, making her ten times more terrifying than the main villain himself.
The last point I wanted to bring up was the very ending fight scene which lasts just that little bit too long, taking up the last half-hour of the film. It just felt a little too drawn out, and most likely could have been wrapped up so much quicker.
Molly is, despite some flaws, a fun action-packed sci-fi with an ambiguous ending. If an hour and a half of fighting for survival set upon a post-apocalyptic wasteland is your bag, then I think you’ll enjoy it by far.