“Sonnie’s Edge” is a neon-drenched nightmare that wants to keep you guessing who’s safe in a world where everyone’s in debt by more than a pound of flesh.
Love, Death + Robots is a Netflix Anthology series created by Tim Miller and David Fincher. Here is the review for Episode 1, “Sonnie’s Edge”, which will contain spoilers. You can read the spoiler-free review of the entire series by clicking these words. You can check out our archive for reviews of each episode by clicking these words.
Sonnie is a ‘beastie’ fighter, which means she aligns minds with a beastly hybrid of a snake/panther/Alien from Alien 3 (Fincher, I see you), in underground battle arenas against toxic misogynists. Her history proves as gnarled as her many deep scars; she’s a rape survivor that initially talks little and scowls a lot. But with every word she does utter, you get the feeling that the deepest scars she bears are the internal ones.
With the slightly disproportionately-scaled animation of cut-scenes from videogames like Bioshock and Dishonored, “Sonnie’s Edge”, and the humans that feature, have an alluring rigidity to their smooth bodies. They are lithe and long, riddled with tattoos and covered in cyberpunk garb, unless, of course, they’re the bedecked bourgeoise throwing money at all they want to control.
Like Pacific Rim meets Pokemon by way of Akira, “Sonnie’s Edge” has a tight focus on action – the ‘beastie’ fight is a visual treat of limbs, ligaments and bloodlust. But even after one beast is gloriously felled (after much flesh-piercing toing and froing) and a victor crowned, the story isn’t over. This is a revenge yarn by way of gender, sexuality and mental transendence. A neon-drenched nightmare that wants to keep you guessing who’s safe in a world where everyone’s in debt by more than a pound of flesh.