A Look at Into the Badlands Part 2
A World with No Guns
You may have already questioned the logic of several action films where characters have spent the last hour shooting at each other, suddenly the last act culminates in a hand to hand scrap for no reason. This inconsistency can take you out of it and is often lazily achieved by character’s weapons being just out of reach, or some other unconvincing idea. In the not so great future of Into The Badlands, the lack of firearms makes perfect sense thanks to the fact that as society deteriorated and technology phased out, guns were outlawed by everyone. This means that you won’t find characters hiding behind superior weaponry, another common annoyance. It also reduces ranged attacks by a huge degree, allowing the world here to be primed for battles of fists and skill instead of pulling triggers.
Barons Are Bosses
Like the action trope of the big guys with big guns, it’s frequent that the leaders themselves are in power because of something other than their abilities. Though you may think this is the case when you first meet Sonny’s baron Quinn (Marton Csokas), who lords his status around heavily, when it comes for the Baron to get his hands dirty, he doesn’t simply hide behind his henchmen. Here we get to see Quinn and the other Barons stand their ground as they unleash a fury of fast punches, deadly kicks and knockout chops just like their loyal clippers.
Another great thing to see here is the difference in brawlers entering the fray. One of the deadliest barons in the show is known as the Widow (Emily Beecham) who proves that females can stand toe to toe with their male counterparts in battle. The Widow’s fighters are all young girls too who all are empowered by their training to take what is theirs in a time when you can imagine women are easily exploited. Similarly, baron Jacobee (Edi Gathegi) shows that race does not have the same debilitating factors as it did before. By mixing up the characters here it emphasises how the breakdown of the world affected everyone and gives viewers a broad range of faces to relate to.
Elaborate but Balanced Action
Into the Badlands gets creative with its fights. Though there are some real close quarters skirmishes where only elbows and knees are used, there are plenty of wide-open environments where fights take place. From the woods in the first episode to the balconies in the small town later on, this show uses its environment well to lead the action along. Though we aren’t getting lots of floating air fights here, there are some more fantastical moments, but they all end by bringing back reality with a brutal climax.
Killers with A Heart
Because of the cutthroat nature of being a deadly assassin or indeed the motives of someone who wants to practice a fighting style made for incapacitating or killing, many fighters on screen can be interpreted as callous individuals. Luckily, we get to see the motives driving even the darkest of characters in the show here, whether that be desire, family or a personal quest. Though Sonny is fatal with his sword skills, he is far from one dimensional which is refreshing to see in action, his likeability putting higher stakes on his bouts every time.