The Domestics – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

In a terrifying post-apocalyptic world inhabited by gangs divided into deadly factions, a husband and wife race desperately across the countryside in search of safety and must work together as they are pushed to the breaking point in order to survive. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% (Critics) / 60% (Audience)
MetaScore: N/A
Directed By: Mike P. Nelson
Written By: Mike P. Nelson
Starring: Kate Bosworth, Tyler Hoechlin, Sonoya Mizuno, Lance Reddick
Studio: Orion Classics

The Good:
Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin, as Nina and Mark, were very believable as a couple whose marriage was on the brink. There was a distance and coldness from Bosworth’s Nina that showed a woman who had lost affection/respect for her husband and Hoechlin’s Mark was a bundle of desperation to rekindle any kind of spark with the woman he loved but underneath you still felt like these two people love one another.

The world building in this movie was cool too. I really liked the idea of outlandishly theatrical gangs popping up after everything went to hell. It was like an expanded version of what we got in THE WARRIORS which is a classic fave of mine.

Lance Reddick was awesome as Nathan, the overly cheerful (disconcertingly so as a matter of fact) survivalist who befriends Nina and Mark and invited them home for dinner with his family. I would love to see a movie detailing his and his family’s story before meeting up with Nina and Mark. There is a lot of interesting material to mine there from how deadly Nathan’s children were to the unusual lifestyle that his family was living.

I loved having the dulcet tones of America’s last radio disc jockey Crazy Al serving as the intermittent narrator of the movie. Aside from Crazy Al just being a hoot, his radio station had the most fitting of call letters: KILU.  Little touches like that are greatly appreciated by me.

The Bad:
While I was happy to see Bosworth’s Nina go from being a damsel-in-distress to a gun-toting badass, I do think the transformation was a bit too abrupt considering how the character had been acting through 90% of the movie.

The subplot of Sonoya Mizuno’s deadly survivor Betsy having an immediate obsession with Nina to the point that she followed Nina and Mark all over the place was completely unnecessary to the main plot of the film. That superfluous feeling became even more evident by the fact that Betsy and Nina never had an actual scene together.

The Ugly:
What kind of maniac decides to drive through a killer gang infested post-apocalypse in a friggin’ 1982 AMC Eagle Hatchback? Those cars were prone to constant break downs in their heyday fresh off the assembly line so to think that it would be anything but a moving death trap after 36 years does not speak well for one’s intelligence or survival skills.

Final Verdict: THE DOMESTICS is a fun, action-packed throwback to the halcyon days when a B-Movie like this was something to look forward to and not scoff at. I cannot recommend it enough.

Grade: B

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