Jeff Chan’s 2019 sci-fi drama, Code 8 makes its way onto Netflix. It tells the story of Connor (Robbie Amell), a construction worker who has been blessed with a unique ability, he can conduct electricity (neat huh?). However, he’s not alone when it comes to having such power, as many of the residents of Lincoln City have inherited an array of different abilities. Some use them for good, others for bad, Connor finds himself stuck in between when his life takes a turn for the worse.
Code 8 is a clever concept disguised as a teen drama. The type of product you’d expect to see as a tv series stretching across multiple seasons. It has a washed down X-Men meets District 9 feel to it, but doesn’t make the most out of the ideas it creates. Its inability to go into depth in regards to the world Chan has created, minus an opening montage leading up to the events in the movie, make this a frustrating and disappointing watch. You kind of just have to accept what this film is trying to achieve narratively, without much context.
The film stars Amell cousins Robbie and Stephen as Connor and Garrett, Kari Matchett as Connor’s sick mother Mary, and Kyla Kane as Nia, a junkie hooked on a drug know as Psyke, which these power users take in order to get the most our of their abilities. Although the acting is perfectly fine, no one really goes far and beyond to make this adequately told tale stand out to the rest of these middle card action romps.
It has its gritty moments, and unsurprisingly the most fun to be had is when you kind of have an idea of what this film is trying to do. It has a techno, near future vibe that perhaps isn’t explored as much as it could have been, and tries to create this atmosphere in a very modest 99 minutes. It’s a safe choice for a late night flick, that may provide enough entertainment to hold your attention for an evening, but will likely be forgotten by morning.