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Into the Badlands TV Review

Theres a certain implicit understanding between martial arts movies and connoisseurs of the genre. In the depiction of asskicking a martial arts master will be able to take on more combatants than is feasibly survivable. Said master may also be able to fly through the air — sometimes literally. He or she will miraculously partake in fights that seem to be exquisitely choreographed as if the introduction of one combatant fighting out of turn would be both ugly and dangerous.

All of this choreographed beauty to the beat of snapped bones and the precise flipping of rivals is an accepted condition of the martial arts genre. If you were to introduce as AMCs latest drama Into the Badlands does a menagerie of sharp swords knives and axes then the deal between the martial arts entertainment and the thoroughly intoit audience would also include the knowledge that countless people will be cut to ribbons and blood will fly everywhere as if pouring from a hose.

If you are comfortable with and in fact super enthusiastic about these conditions then you are a martial arts buff and not prone to needing a more realistic portrayal of life action and gravity. If you did need realism you would be a total buzzkill here better served watching yet another dreary drama about antiheroes. Imagine the delight of true martial arts movie fans at the creation of an actionpacked insanely bloody and entertainingly intense television series. One hour a week in the case of Into the Badlands season one a mere six episodes of kicks punches slicing dicing and necksnapping.

Its what they want. Its what they come to the martial arts genre for in the first place.
All of this is a very elaborate way of saying that Into the Badlands is probably the very best nonzombie accompaniment to The Walking Dead that AMC could have ever dreamed up. These backtoback — but different — genre series make for two pretty compelling hours of thrills and if you havent figured it out by now buckets of blood.

Into the Badlands is a dystopian series created written and executive produced by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar with the first two episodes shown to critics directed by David Dobkin The Judge Wedding Crashers. Dobkin brings to life the odd ideas of Gough and Millar who envisioned a world centuries from now that has been through a succession of natural and manmade catastrophes driven back to the agrarian era — and for the purposes of Into the Badlands situated somewhere in the American Midwest this is mind you after billions of people have perished from the earth. Old American cars and motorcycles are in play but mostly people appear to walk around or ride horses.

In Into the Badlands seven rival barons have built plantations and territories that they rule each producing a specific and necessary resource grain oil etc.. The barons have tons of slave labor called Cogs now and each has an army of socalled Clippers fierce highlytrained warriors most of them orphans who are martial arts and sword/sharpobject masters and kill as their job otherwise theyd be working in the fields.

Before they are Clippers they are teenage and preteen Colts apprentices who spend all day and night learning how to kick ass. If you havent guessed yet Into the Badlands is first and foremost about kicking ass. Theres some story there sure. In fact the creators say its very loosely based on the Chinese tale Journey to the West which suggests that part of Into the Badlands will be about journeying out of the badlands to the unknown areas of the world that are now the stuff of legends people hear about.

But in the first two episodes sent to critics we meet the core group still in the titular badlands and not wanting to leave. They are Sunny Daniel Wu the most legendary Clipper and killer ever tallying more than 400 kills since age 9 each one a mark tattooed on his back. Sunny works for Baron Quinn Marton Csokas not surprisingly the most feared of the seven barons in the Badlands. We dont get to meet any others except for The Widow Emily Beecham a redheaded martial artist and sharp weapons enthusiast duh whos training young female Clippers she calls Butterflies after her baroness symbol. Shes going to challenge Quinn because you need drama in a drama.

About Yashwa Malik

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