‘Scorched Earth‘ is a 2018 dystopian Western action film directed by Peter Howitt and made by the production company Lighthouse Pictures.
In the future, a calamity called the Cloud Fall has led to Earth’s atmosphere becoming toxic and caused society to collapse with humanity living similarly to the days of the Old West. The surviving humans rely on silver for commerce and air purifiers called tabs to survive a disease called the Black Lung. Gage (Gina Carano) is a bounty hunter looking for the thief Chavo (Luvia Petersen). She tortures a thug named Womack (Patrick Sabongui) for the info and manages to kill Chavo. Taking her body to the corrupt Sheriff Grubbs (Patrick Gilmore) for the bounty, she learns from her mentor Doc (John Hannah) of a town called Defiance. There, the mercenary Thomas Jackson (Ryan Robbins) has created a haven for criminals and has taken control of a silver mine. The reward for him and his lieutenant Lear (Dean S. Jagger) is high. Gage takes Chavo’s identity and heads to Defiance to get a piece of the action, but when she arrives, she spots a scar on Jackson and realizes he is the one who murdered Gage’s sister. This changes from a simple bounty to a desire for vengeance and a showdown.
The film is definitely a b-movie with production values being slightly lower than you would find in a blockbuster and you can find different themes from other movies of similar genres. It also has a few slow points in the plot that make it drag at times. That being said, I actually enjoyed this movie.
Gina Carano is perfect for this type of movie, bringing her usual action skills and strength to the character of Gage. The rest of the cast also does a good job of bringing the story together. John Hannah was, of course, a sharp actor in the sort of mentor role. He was excellent for the part and had some of the best lines.
As for the plot, it definitely keeps you invested. What starts as a simple desire to earn some money soon devolves into a quest for vengeance. At first, I did not like that twist as I felt Jackson was an arrogant enough villain to fight, but I soon realized it was caused Gage to go off her plan of taking him down. It also humanized Gage, going from a generic action heroine into someone you can root for to the end.
Bottom line, Scorched Earth is a decent action film that keeps you hooked with its unlikely hero and interesting premise. It does have its weaknesses, but I see a future as a cult classic.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong violence, Some foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: At some point, your luck is going to run out.
Check out the trailer below:
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