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"Into the Badlands" is a genre-bending martial arts series very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale "Journey to the West." In a land controlled by feudal barons, Into the Badlands tells the story of a great warrior and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

Episode Title: Two Tigers Subdue Dragon
Airs: 2015-12-06 at 10:00 PM
  • Brian Tallerico

    The dialogue is so clichéd that it calls attention to itself. And that wouldn’t be such a problem if the plotting could overcome the clichés, but it’s thematically shallow too. Through all of this, Daniel Wu does his best to ground Into the Badlands. He’s an engaging lead, and seems eager to be given more to do in terms of character than look concerned and kick ass. Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    In its overall sweep and style, Into the Badlands struggles to find a bigger idea or compelling narrative that could really draw a crowd and keep it entertained.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    Sure, it's all very derivative. It's purposely so. That's not the problem with these scripts. The problem is that, despite all the blood, too many anemic characters fail to register on the flesh-and-blood scale.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    The problem is that at no point during the first couple of episodes does the show truly come alive as a drama about actual people inhabiting a convincing fictional space. It doesn't pulse with life, as any series defined mainly through its actions ought to. And when action does happen, it's disappointingly personality-free.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    For all of the impressive whirling, gouging and slashing acrobatics on display in Badlands, the action often feels strangely inert. Whether badass male or kickass female, these combatants tend to be joyless, expressionless ciphers. [23 Nov - 6 Dec 2015, p.14]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    It’s a little “Mad Max,” a little “Mortal Kombat,” a little “Gone with the Wind,” a lot head-scratchingly dumb.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    For all the agility on display in Into the Badlands, the series feels narratively uncertain, stuck between the simple pleasures of genre staples and the sadly unfulfilled aspiration toward a more imaginative, substantive work of stylized fantasy.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Vikram Murthi

    Though loosely based on the 16th century Chinese tale Journey To The West, Into The Badlands has no interest in folding in its folk mythology into the series that would distinguish it from an overcrowded television landscape. Instead, it adopts a cheap comic-book visual and narrative style that makes it just one in a crowd.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Doing more than two or three big fight scenes per hour is a practical impossibility in television. So even though the swordplay is fun, there's not nearly enough.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Kevin P. Sullivan

    Beneath the veneer is nothing but cliches loosely stitched together. Actor Daniel Wu, however, does what he can. [13 Nov 2015, p.57]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    The new AMC show is packed with rigorously choreographed and slicingly edited action scenes, and it builds a mythology that combines elements of Asian martial-arts movies, American Westerns, film noir, horror, biker flicks, and nighttime soap operas.... One big problem with Badlands is its punishingly dour tone, utterly devoid of humor or any fleeting moments of lightness.... I just wish Into The Badlands was more fun.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Into the Badlands should be nonstop, melodramatic entertainment. But the first two episodes are listless and dull whenever Wu isn't battling villains. The writing lacks flavor, and the performances are stiff, with the florid exception of Csokas' Quinn.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Mike Hale

    Into the Badlands is a perfectly average television show.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    How I wish the rest of Into the Badlands rose to the occasion of the phenomenal choreography. The story lines and the characters aren’t disastrous, by any means, but they’re disappointing as they fall into the action, post-apocalyptic, and family-soap formulas we’ve seen many, many times before.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Dramatically inert, Badlands is at least technically accomplished.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    I can't help but feel a certain scruffy affection for a show in which the hero is learning to read by perusing Paradise Lost and where the political economy is summed up in a single line of dialogue: "Power is not inherited...It's taken." Take that, Frank Capra. Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    Everyone onscreen does a good job. That some of the readings are a little stiff is not inimical to this sort of drama.... The fights, which are bloody, fast and squelchy, quickly become purely choreographic; they're like puzzles to solve in order for the narrative to proceed and, perhaps not oddly, the only time the show feels fun.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    Wu does what he can, bringing a steely authority and mad kick-butt skills to the role. But the show is hampered by too many overly broad characters, genre cliches and the kind of groan-worthy dialogue that leaves one restless.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Reservations about Into the Badlands center on supporting roles; it’s unclear if a set of younger characters will be as compelling as the ones played by the more seasoned actors.... All in all, however, Into the Badlands is a welcome addition to the television scene.

    Variety Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    The show is almost entirely unoriginal, from the plot to the fight scenes, but it wears its unoriginality with a certain panache.

    Slate Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    AMC is airing only the show’s first hour this weekend, and if it leaves viewers confused about the world, come back for episode two, which fills in a lot of blanks about the Badlands and its characters.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    Into the Badlands may not have a ton of smarts, but so far it’s a twisty, agreeable distraction.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    Yes, it's riddled with comic-book clichés. True, the dialogue is out of a Cracker Jack box, and most of its characters have less dimension than cardboard cutouts. But I'm a sucker for well-choreographed kung fu films. And Badlands--a Mad Max-ian postapocalyptic kung fu western that costars Emily Beecham as a killer beauty--has some wonderfully wigged-out fight scenes.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Derivative? True fans of the genre are likely to think so, but that familarity makes the entry point into Badlands easier for the average viewer. So does a beautiful, ballet-like opening fight scene in which Sunny gracefully takes out a horde of enemies not nearly so well-dressed as he is.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Into the Badlands is probably the very best non-zombie accompaniment to The Walking Dead that AMC could have ever dreamed up.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    Into The Badlands thrills in its nimble genre fusion a la "Kill Bill" and "Firefly" (though, it must be said, without the humor). Even more striking is its impressionistic world-building, skillfully painting a feudal society a few centuries beyond our own, outfitted with Studebakers and Saarinen chairs and dressed in bowler hats and bustles.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    The characters themselves are mostly one-dimensional, and the performances range from stiff to dull. The only exception is Marton Csokas, whose hammy turn as the evil, Southern-accented baron who employs Sonny is a highlight.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • Mitchel Broussard

    There’s just too many inconsistencies in Into the Badlands to truly recommend it even on that action junkie level: the world is vibrant but hollow, the fighting is over-the-top and chaotic but the show is overbearing and self-serious.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Nothing could equal Kurosawa, of course, but the Americanization of the story was at least credible as seven hired gunfighters protect a Mexican town from an outlaw gang. With Badlands, though, credibility is all but completely lost in translation, replaced by unintended silliness.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review