Code 8: Part II Critiques Militarized Police State in Netflix-Backed Sequel

The sequel to ‘Code 8’ continues to explore themes of the militarized police state and surveillance society, as Powers fight against corruption and violence. Watch ‘Code 8: Part II’ on Netflix now.

Code 8: Part II Continues to Critique the Militarized Police State in its Netflix-Backed Sequel

Released in spring 2020, Code 8, an anti-police sci-fi action film directed by Jeff Chan and starring Robbie and Stephen Amell, explored timely themes but flew under the radar. However, the franchise has found new life with a Netflix-backed sequel, Code 8: Part II. Building upon its high-concept sci-fi setting, the film delves deeper into critiquing the escalating violence of the militarized police state and the surveillance society.

Code 8: Part II Critiques Militarized Police State in Netflix-Backed Sequel - -1545617788

( Credit to: Rogerebert )

Set five years after the events of the first film, Robbie Amell portrays Connor, a recently released small-time criminal. Stephen Amell plays Garrett, Connor’s partner in a failed attempt to save his dying mother by partnering with a drug kingpin. Both characters are Powers, individuals possessing superhuman abilities. In the fictional city of Lincoln, Powers are treated as second-class citizens, living in poverty and facing heavy police surveillance.

Examining the Corrupt Police System and the Introduction of Robotic K9 Units

The first film examined how the disenfranchised Powers were forced to hide their abilities or resort to a life of crime to survive. It also explored the exploitation of their powers to create an addictive drug called Psyke. In Code 8: Part II, the corrupt police system is further scrutinized through the ambitious Sergeant “King” Kingston, who introduces a new robotic K9 program to replace the violent robotic “Guardians” from the previous film.

King attempts to win the community’s trust by organizing a block party and introducing them to a unit named Piper. However, when one of Garrett’s runners is killed by a K9 unit, it becomes evident that these robots can be commanded by human officers to kill. Pavani, Tarak’s fourteen-year-old sister and a transducer with the ability to disrupt and disable the K9 unit, captures the incident on video, exposing the police’s lies about their non-violent approach to maintaining peace in Lincoln City.

As a result, King targets Pavani for elimination, forcing Connor and Garrett to team up to protect her. The film explores Garrett’s struggle to navigate his drug business, support his community, and evade the police. While the conflicted Officer Park does not appear in this installment, his partner Officer Davis plays a minor role that leaves the film’s stance on the police somewhat ambiguous.

Engaging Visuals and Dystopian World-Building, But Lacking Character Development

Despite the sequel’s engaging visuals and dystopian world-building, the plot feels less cohesive than the first film, possibly due to multiple writers involved. Nevertheless, the Amell cousins deliver committed performances, showcasing their characters’ powers with earnestness. Memorable action sequences, such as Tamera’s ability to erase memories and Mina’s bullet-repelling power, add excitement to the film.

However, Code 8: Part II falls short in developing the characters and their personal struggles. The lack of meaningful moments hampers our ability to connect with them and empathize with their lives amidst heavy police surveillance. A late twist regarding King’s character adds an additional critique of assimilation versus community, but it feels underexplored.

A Hopeful Speculative Fiction that Challenges the Status Quo

While the film admirably takes on the militarized police state and questions copaganda films, its final sequence hinges on the notion that exposing corruption and state-sanctioned violence leads to punishment and systemic reform. Recent events have shown that this is often not the case. It is uncertain whether this reflects the world’s current state or the film’s execution, as the most improbable aspect is the idea of a city defunding its police in favor of funding a community center.

Code 8: Part II is now available on Netflix, offering a hopeful speculative fiction that challenges the status quo and prompts reflection on the current state of society.

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Written by Reddit Manga

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