Code 8: An interesting take on the Superpowers genre that falls a little flat

Code 8 is one of those movies that you’ve never really heard of until it pops up in your Netflix recommendations, so you give it a go.

It’s set in a world where people have “superpowers”—extraordinary strength, healing powers, telekinesis and control over electricity, heat and cold. Initially, these people were employed in roles to take advantage of their powers but eventually, automation replaced many of these jobs, leaving the “Powered” out of work and increasingly on the margins of society. Many of them turn to crime. This leads to a requirement for Powered people to be registered and to need permission to use their powers in employment. It also leads to powerful police enforcement robots being deployed to cope with super-powered criminals.

The film follows Connor Reed, played by Robbie Amell, who is also a producer on the film alongside his cousin Stephen of Arrow fame. Connor has the power to control electricity and works “unregistered” (i.e. illegally) fitting electric wiring on building sites without the kind of safety gear non-powered people would need.

Connor’s mother has the power to control cold temperatures, but she is also extremely ill, making her powers erratic and uncontrollable. Unable to afford her medical treatment, Connor joins the crew of a telekinetic called Garrett, played by Stephen Amell, and together they try to recoup the funds owed to the local superpowered crime lord following a police drug raid.

The film trots along at a reasonable pace and is less than 90 mins long, which is a bonus for those of us without the time or energy to watch a three-hour epic every night. And it’s… Fine. It’s fine. There’s some emotional weight to the story with Connor’s mother’s situation, some tension between the Amell cousins’ characters and some jeopardy for them from both the crime lords above and the pursuing police.

But overall it’s… Fine. It’s Okay, nothing more. Worth a watch? Yes. But pretty forgettable afterwards. I can’t in all honesty say I “recommend” it enough to tell you to seek it out—but if it pops up on your Netflix feed, give it a watch. You’ll enjoy it. I did.

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