Though definitely not for mainstream tastes, Ana Lily Amirpour's bizarre, beautiful film feels like an arthouse movie from an earlier time, more of a dare than a comfort, more active than passive. The Bad Batch takes a few cues from defiant, edgy movies like the Mad Max series, The Hills Have Eyes, Tank Girl, El Topo, and Zabriskie Point, but it's different in its own unique way. Amirpour, who made an impressive debut with the equally hard-to-categorize A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, is gifted at pure cinema.
Her compositions are extraordinary, using powerful depth of space as well as odd, striking juxtapositions in nearly every shot. She favors silence over dialogue, though music is important. Mainly, her movies seem to be about wanderers (like modern-day cowboys) exploring weird landscapes and perhaps hoping to find a place that seems good enough. Along the way -- at least in The Bad Batch -- the journey is funny, horrifying, magical, awful, and beautiful, with so many great moments, especially the surprising performance by Carrey. Many will find the 118-minute running time a bit daunting for an "experimental" movie, but a few brave souls will be totally swept away.