Code 8: Part II - Budgeting for the Sequel Starring Robbie and Stephen Amell Amid Netflix Success

Stephen Amell has gained fame in recent years for his portrayal of Oliver Queen (also known as Green Arrow) in the CW’s Arrowverse, as well as for his role as wrestler Jack Spade on Heels. Meanwhile, Robbie Amell has been seen in the Amazon comedy Upload and the CW’s The Flash. Drawing on their superhero backgrounds, the cousins joined forces in 2019 for Code 8, which went from being an indie underdog to one of Netflix’s most popular films. Now, they’re back for Code 8: Part II, so what do critics have to say about the sequel?

Code 8: Part II, now available for streaming with a Netflix subscription, revolves around Connor (played by Robbie Amell) and Garrett (played by Stephen Amell) as they assist 14-year-old Pav (portrayed by Sirena Gulamgaus) in evading a corrupt police force and their robotic K9s. Marya E. Gates of RogerEbert.com describes the film as cheesy yet enjoyable, but notes that it struggles to strike the same balance between action and emotional depth as its predecessor. Gates awards the movie 2.5 stars out of 4, mentioning:

"One issue lies in the less tight plotting compared to the first film, which was solely penned by Chris Paré. Here, the writing credits are shared with Chan, Sherren Lee, and Jesse LaVercombe, possibly resulting in too many influences. However, Chan's visual world-building remains impressive, with a consistent Rust Belt atmosphere permeating the entire film, from the dilapidated community center where Connor works to the greasy diner where he meets Garrett. Everything exudes a sense of bleakness and coldness."

However, Alex Maidy of JoBlo finds the sequel superior to the original, giving it a “Good” rating of 7 out of 10 for its entertaining action and improved storyline. Maidy praises Sirena Gulamgaus for her performance alongside her adult co-stars, stating:

"With a stronger narrative, enhanced special effects, and deeper character development, Code 8: Part II expands upon the core concept of the original and ramps up the action. Stephen Amell and Robbie Amell deliver authentic performances, reminiscent of late 1980s/early 1990s sci-fi action movies. While somewhat formulaic, Code 8 Part II still delivers a satisfying array of action sequences that maintain a brisk pace from start to finish. With the groundwork laid for a potential third installment, Code 8 Part II has the potential to launch a compelling genre franchise that audiences will eagerly revisit."

Felipe Rangel of ScreenRant echoes this sentiment, asserting that Code 8: Part II improves upon its predecessor in every aspect, from its captivating visual effects to its thrilling action sequences and well-developed characters. Rangel awards the film 4 out of 5 stars, commenting:

"While Code 8: Part II excels in its sci-fi elements, it also enhances other aspects compared to the original. Part II benefits from a script co-written by Chris Paré, Sherren Lee, Jesse LaVercombe, and director Jeff Chan. While it delivers engaging action, its slower, character-driven moments add depth, allowing the main stars to shine while introducing compelling new elements to the story."

M.N. Miller of Geek Vibes Nation rates the movie a 7 out of 10, highlighting the dynamic chemistry between the Amell cousins as a key factor in its success. Miller observes unexpected depth in this gritty sequel, making it a worthwhile watch. Miller states:

"Directed by Jeff Chan, this sequel delves into themes of unethical policing, institutional corruption, and the use of community activism as a facade for illicit activities. The script, crafted by Chan, Chris Pare, Sherren Lee, and Jesse LaVercombe, constructs a world where individuals with powers face persecution. In a post-social justice era, these empowered individuals begin to fight for their rights."

Alice Lange of Martin Cid magazine gives the film 3 out of 5 stars, assuring fans of the original that they won't be disappointed with the sequel. While Code 8: Part II doesn’t break new ground in the sci-fi or superhero genres, Lange describes it as a “solid continuation,” stating:

"This sequel follows the formula of its predecessor, maintaining a similar pace and aesthetic while enhancing effects, expanding its budget, and retaining identical plotlines. While less groundbreaking in its dystopian narrative, it makes up for it with improved visual impact, building upon the foundation of the first film."

Most critics seem to favor the Amell cousins’ sequel over the original, offering promising news for fans of the superhero genre who enjoyed the first installment. Code 8: Part II is now available for streaming on Netflix, so be sure to check it out, and keep an eye out for other new releases on Netflix. You can also start planning your next trip to the theater by consulting our 2024 movie release calendar.