Badland Hunters Review – Badass apocalyptic drama

By Romey Norton
Published: January 26, 2024 (Last updated: 5 weeks ago)
Badland Hunters Review
Badland Hunters | Image via Netflix


There’s something in the water! Exciting and action-packed with high emotion, you’ll want a Badland Hunter in any impending apocalypse.

Badland Hunters is set in Seoul, South Korea, which suffers a major, life-changing earthquake, transforming the city into an apocalyptic wasteland where all order has collapsed. Hunter Nam-san (played by Don Lee), his protégé, and an air force sergeant set out on a mission to rescue a teenager, and associates, who have been held hostage by a deranged doctor trying to save the world. 

This Netflix original film marks Heo Myeong-haeng’s directorial debut, and what a film to start your career with. The main plot is a basic search and rescue, but the film is filled with intensity, drama, and epic fight scenes.

Badland Hunters is thrilling from beginning to end, filled with action, danger, brutality, and a tiny bit of humour to take the edge off. There are well-choreographed fight scenes, keeping viewers on their toes, including a mixture between martial arts and weapons such as machetes and guns, so they don’t become repetitive. 

Like most apocalyptic films, this is a story of survival and follows the characters as they learn to live in a new world. Their struggles and outcomes appeal to viewers as they heighten our fears of pending catastrophes. We like to think we’re like our protagonist and can survive even the most extreme situations, and face all sorts of new dangers. 

Badland Hunters is a visual feast. Sometimes the CGI is a little tacky and unbelievable, but it’s forgivable. The set designs are well thought-out and mixed with the excellent acting, you’ll be completely drawn in. Using some sort of Lizard DNA Dr. Yang turns many of the people into lizard-like zombies. It’s creative and quite scary to watch. The makeup and acting of the creatures is very realistic and convincing, with no obvious CGI, which I appreciate. 

Dr. Yang’s character can reflect how we treat leaders around the world and could be seen as a nod toward North Korea. The characters worship him and are controlled and maintained by their one leader. 

The vaccine they’re given makes the children into emotionless, robotic followers. This can mirror how society felt and acted during our recent COVID-19 years, opening up conversations regarding what constitutes an apocalypse. 

The ending is predictable, but no less entertaining. As the film pushes boundaries I did expect a more dramatic and emotional ending, rather than the happy, sappy one we got.

With spectacular scenes and compelling acting that’ll captivate you from beginning to end, this thrilling film is well worth the watch. 

This is in no way against Badland Hunters, but I am praying that voice-over acting gets better, for the sake of foreign films. You can lose so much emotion and passion that is only authentic in the natural language. I watch with subtitles as well as voice-over acting, and in this film, there are times the voice-over doesn’t match the emotion on screen, so it’s just something to be open and mindful about.

What did you think of Badland Hunters? Comment below.


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