A Look at Into the Badlands Part 1
Although television seems to be outperforming big screen blockbusters when it comes to wrangling in big crowds for the long haul, one genre that remains rare on TV is martial arts. Though investigative thrillers (CSI), period dramas (Downton Abbey) and even hard fantasy (Game of Thrones) shows manage to run almost without end; despite their previous niche appeal, fans of fanciful fighting appear to have been cast aside – until now. Enter Amazon Video, the on-demand video service tacked onto the price of the website’s prime member subscription. It may not have the breadth of original shows or clout of its immediate rival Netflix, but Prime focuses on making older well-loved shows more available, and also aims to fill the gaps in the market just like it has done with Into The Badlands.
This show set in a dystopian future (since that is very hot right now, see any YA novel) watches over the major players in what’s left of America. Several districts all governed by their own Barons share a rocky relationship with one another in a world returned to a slightly more barbaric time. With hard labour and delegating the fruit of natural resources now a staple of society, another thing is key in this brand-new world – violence. Anyone taking a chance on this one will no doubt appreciate the world that has been crafted here, and yet the true fans of martial arts will be delighted that Into the Badlands does not stray far from its core. Here is how they do it.
Fights from The Get-go
Unlike film, TV shows like to take their time since they have a lot more of it. Filling a 40+ minute show repeatedly can be troublesome without enough content. Lots of shows, especially ones about heroes or fighters, take liberties in getting the protagonist to an age in the story where they are ready to unleash their abilities (See DC’s Gotham). Into the Badlands does not wait around. From the very first episode, less than ten minutes in we get to see what our main character Sonny (played by Daniel Wu) can do. Without wasting any time, the lightning fast and highly choreographed fight scenes are underway as Sonny deals with the fact he is outnumbered. Anyone hoping to get a feel for the show will find satisfaction instantly, as the impressive stunts and uncensored bloodshed begin.
Sonny is a clipper, which is a term you will hear often in the show as these individuals are well known for their fighting prowess. A mix between a general, assassin and gladiator, the clippers here are an essential part of a Baron’s power as they are sent out to eliminate anything that may encroach on their territory. Decapitating enemy combatants and scaring away scavengers, the clippers are an elite group of fighters that make up for much of the show’s best close combat moments. Sonny just happens to be one of the greatest clippers around, which for viewers means that every engagement he gets caught up in is nothing short of eye-popping.