Coming to Bluray and Digital HD is a television hit for AMC with the fantastic martial arts series “Into the Badlands: The Complete First Season.”
Sunny (Daniel Wu) is a martial arts hit man, or Head Clipper, for Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas) who is looking for a boy named M.K. (Aramis Knight). This young boy has something special and when he is delivered to The Fort, it is because he is to be trained as a Clipper also called a Colt.
It quickly becomes clear that M.K. has a power and The Widow/Minerva (Emily Beecham) knows it as well and wants the boy for herself. Sunny sees a pendant that the boy is wearing that has the image to Azra and he knows this place. Sunny also has a reason for answers, his woman Veil (Madeleine Mantock) is pregnant and he wants them both away from Quinn.
M.K. accidentally meets Tilda (Ally Ioannides) who is the daughter of The Widow. The reason she wants the boy is to overthrow the other barons and Quinn wants Sunny and Quinn’s son Ryder (Oliver Stark) to set up an attack on her. That is when the boy helps Sunny and wants to help him get out of the Badlands.
But Quinn is furious with The Widow and wants revenge. At the same time Sunny starts to train M.K. so that their journey through the Badlands is safer. Quinn seeks out Veil when it is discovered that he is ill to treat him. This puts Sunny and Veil both in a dangerous situation.
Moving forward with M.K.’s training, the boy shows Sunny what his powers can do. He also learns that Veil is helping M.K. translate the Azra book. That all seems minute when The Widow takes out one of Quinn’s Clippers the Barons meet up to talk. But it’s Ryder who wants a war and he’s going to find people to back him up.
Sunny knows things are getting dangerous and tries to find a way out going to the River King (Lance E. Nichols) for passage. He is shocked to discover that the price is the head of M.K. That also leads to the danger when Tilda tells M.K. that every time he is cut, a power is released which takes part of his life force.
There are more people looking for M.K. as well and the things Sunny is doing behind Quinn’s back catches up to him. The Widow sends Tilda out to take Veil needing help with her injuries which gives Veil the chance to warn the girl that The Widow has plans that don’t favor her.
Sunny gets away and knows he has to find M.K. before it’s too late and it might be as M.K. is convinced by Quinn to participate in sparing. Setting the boy off, it all goes horribly wrong. Sunny tries to stop it but it is three monks who take M.K. away leaving Sunny at the hands of the River King!
Wu as Sunny is freakin’ fantastic in this role. He is a smart, strong and compassionate character and it’s all wrapped up in a Daniel Wu. Adding characters like Quinn and The Widow just give Sunny the twists and turns to make INTO THE BADLANDS compelling in so many ways.
Speaking of Quinn, Csokas is amazing as the creepy bad guy. He has no problem ordering Sunny or any of his men to do the unspeakable. Stark as son Ryder might just be a lot like his father!
Beecham as The Widow is just impeccable – not just her outfits but the way she completely has no shame making her way in a ‘man’s’ world. She is just as manipulative as her male counterpart barons and it’s never over till it’s over – and then it’s still not over. Ioannides as Tilda is a character that sways between what she wants to believe and what is true, I can’t wait to see where her character goes.
Knight as M.K. is a young man who just as so much space to grow character wise. I can’t wait to see where all these secrets will take him. Mantock as Veil is actually a quietly strong character for both Sunny and M.K.
Two of my secretly favorite characters are Lance Henriksen as Penrith and Stephen Lang as Waldo and mainly because I love these guys! Their careers have spanned so many characters that it’s fantastic to see them land on this very cool series.
Other cast include Orla Brady as Lydia, Sarah Bolger as Jade, Nick Frost as Bajie, Yohance Myles as Ringo, Benjamin Papac as Bale, Mike Seal as Petri, Teressa Liane as Angelica, Ellen Hollman as Zephyr, Lance Henriksen as Penrith, and Stephen Lang as Waldo.
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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Into the Badlands: The Complete First Season” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I can not wait to see what Season Two brings to this series because I have tons of questions. But then again that seems to be what happens when AMC gets their hands on a series filled with possibilities.
Wu as Sunny just takes this storytelling into fantastic places with the center of his character. Surrounded by a versatile cast that brings in their own characters with an assortment of issues is what makes this series a winner. The action is intense, the martial arts are everything one would expect and the set design is a place I’d love to visit.
The Bonus Features of the Bluray are what will take you even further into the world of the Badlands with Inside the Badlands, Anatomy of a Fight, Building the World of Into the Badlands, The Characters of Into the Badlands: The Barons & The Clippers, The Master: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 1, Creating Real Kung Fu: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 2, Bringing It All Together: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 3 and Into the Badlands Digital Comic. Also, for more of “Into the Badlands” go to www.amc.com and the AMC Apps.
In the end — we all want to know what lies in The Badlands!