Code 8 Part II

Code 8: Part II (2024) - IMDb

So a crazy thing happened and I was invited to Netflix’s world premiere of Code 8 Part II at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto ahead of its release on February 28th. The thing is I have never heard of it before and have never seen the original movie. However, it was a surreal experience to be a small part of an event like this. At first, I felt so incredibly out of place, but then I found some fellow students from my university and my friend which made me feel 100 times better.

I was so awkward that I walked up to the concessions stand to buy popcorn to which the person working there replied “you know there is an entire table of popcorn for free over there”. As in I walked past over five 10ft long tables of popcorn buckets with the movie poster plastered on the side. I then stood over the balcony that looked over the red carpet for the next twenty minutes and got to see the top of their heads.

Once seated, I had my popcorn and the actors Robbie and Stephen Amell and director Jeff Chan came out to introduce the movie to our theatre. Jeff Chan attended my school and was an alumnus of our Media Production program so that was interesting. If you have never been to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, it is one of if not the best theatres that I have ever watched movies in. And trust me I go to the theatre a lot. The sound quality is incredible and the noise cancelling is the best I have experienced. I have been lucky enough to attend many TIFF screenings in this theatre and I highly recommend for anyone in Toronto to take a look at their programming throughout the year.

The movie itself was pretty good and I really enjoyed it. You really don’t need to see the original film to understand what’s happening in the film. Plus, they give a proper introduction with all the background information at the beginning of the film. I thought Robbie and Stephen did an amazing job in their roles. There is not a lot of dialogue in the film and it relies heavily on the music and images on screen to understand what the characters are feeling, so there is not a lot of character acting. This also sometimes did not work well for the background characters who had little screentime to get to know them. The cinematography and special effects were well done. I liked that even though it's not a superhero film, it has this subtle sci-fi element that does not feel corny. It feels real as if these powers were something that could exist in real life.

I really liked every time there was something in the film that was distinctly Toronto. First was the street car going uphill in the background of a very serious scene, which for some reason made me laugh. It was cool to see streets and buildings that I recognized from the Greater Toronto Area.

Some fun casting surprises for me were Akiel Julien from the Disney Channel show The Next Step and Jean Yoon who I recognized from Kim’s Convenience. It was interesting to see them in a much more serious role, whereas I was used to them in kids programming and the comedy space respectively.

Overall, it was a really neat experience to see this film before it is released to the general public and at a world premiere! I hope to attend more events like this in the future. It was great to be a part of that kind of atmosphere, especially for someone who wants to work in the entertainment industry. I recommend checking out the film when it comes to Netflix on February 28th!


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