MOLLY **** Netherlands 2017 Dir: Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese. 91 mins
Setting its scene (and style) with a superb pre / post-apocalyptic beach-set jump cut followed by a bravura one-take fight scene, this is a remarkably assured low-budget dystopian action picture. The eponymous Molly (Julia Batelaan) is the stuff of legend, a lone warrior roaming the barren landscape, robbing corpses to stay alive and in possession of mad fighting skills. Accompanied by an intelligent bird of prey and a rescued young orphan, she strives to evade the top-hat-sporting leader of a band of marauders intent on capturing her and pitting her super-human powers against the feral survivors they keep for ghoulish entertainment in front of a crowd of paying customers.
Despite obvious parallels to the MAD MAX franchise (amongst others), this captures a mood and verve of its own and, probably inspired by the corridor set piece in OLDBOY, specialises in truly show-stopping, audacious single-take fight sequences. What’s more, Batelaan is a heroine worth rooting for, providing this ambitious, brutal picture with its heart and soul, and the kind of dynamic post-apocalyptic protagonist we yearned for with the movie of TANK GIRL. Every penny is on screen, with clever use of visual FX, excellent casting and first-rate stunt work. For once…you are left wanting more.
Review by Steven West