In a post-apocalyptic world reminiscent of Mad Max, in which people are left to their most violent vices and bullets has become the highest currency, Deacon, Joost Bolt (“LelleBelle”, “De Punt”), the leader of a clan of marauders, regularly organizes fights to the death involving unwilling prisoners who have been injected a rage-inducing drug.
When he gets wind of a young woman with supernatural abilities, he sends his toughest acolyte Kimmy, Annelies Appelhof (“De spa (TV)”, “Import (Short)”) to catch her and get her to fight for him.
The young woman, the titular Molly, Julia Batelaan (“Photon (TV)”, “Visions (Short)”), who has been surviving in the wild ever since escaping a place that haunts her in her dreams, will have to defend herself and the young abandoned girl Bailey, Emma de Paauw, she finds on her journey.
Created by Colinda Bongers (“Hybris (Short)”) and Thijs Meuwese (“Photon (TV)”, “Visions (Short)”, Molly immerses us into a mesmerizing world, its saturated colors creating an atmosphere in between beauty and roughness, fun and danger, and its costumes full of details tell us everything we need to know about the characters sporting them.
Deacon’s top hat represents perfectly his style of clownish villainy, Kimmy’s robotic arm highlights her raw strength and lack of humanity, and Molly’s glasses and backpack filled to the brim portrays both her youthfulness and harsh life on the road.
The plot is fairly simple and straightforward, cutting back and forth between the clan of marauders and Molly’s journey, both mixing regularly in battle sequences until they eventually entirely converge into an explosive finale that never lets the viewer rest.
Despite this simplicity, the film’s humor (injected in small doses and in all the right places) and heartfelt moments (especially the scenes between Molly and the young Bailey she takes under her wing) succeed in turning the film into much more than just a mindless action flick.
Mostly hand-held, the camera moves around action sequences and chase scenes with dexterity, especially as the film progresses towards its final sequence, in which you can clearly feel – and see – how much fun everyone involved in the making of the film must have had: the transitions are quick and seamless, the shots more and more creative and the fight scenes really cool to watch.
The actors and stunt performers move a bit too slow to create a truly realistic fight, but this never interferes with the enjoyment of the scenes as inventiveness and small but well-done special effects fill in the gaps.
Molly’s main problem is its ending: the last big battle sequence surpasses every promise but runs for far too long, the film threatening to turn its perfect pace into something repetitive and dull. And the very end might disappoint a lot of viewers.
It sets up a sequel (awesome!) by leaving important questions unanswered (less awesome). Here’s to hoping the promised sequel gets made, not only to finally get those answers but also because Molly is a film more than worthy of one.