Gunpowder Milkshake

Directed by Navot Papushado
Written by Navot Papushado & Ehud Lavski

Karen Gillan, Chloe Coleman, Lena Heady, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, Paul Giamatti, Ralph Ineson, Adam Nagaitis, Michael Smiley.

Samantha is left by her hit-woman mother Scarlet, in a diner as a child. Fifteen years later, she has joined the same company called The Firm, and is one of their best assassins. When she is called to retrieve some stolen cash, she discovers it was going to be used to pay the ransom of an 8 (and ¾) year old girl, Emily. When things go awry, Samantha now has an ‘apprentice’ in the girl. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that The Firm has now disowned her after one of the hits they ordered her to do angers the family of the target.

This was a very colourful movie, with almost a Film Noir style set in current times. The play on the two era’s is fascinating as both complement each other. Some of the main locations of the film (the library and the diner) especially have this era feel to them, while at the same time we know we are set in the 2020’s with pop culture references ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘uber’. There was a Narnia joke said by one of the characters that should have been traded for a Westeros joke to be slightly meta for Heady, but we can’t have everything

Some great long take shots as well as deep focus from relatively new director, and the choreography of the fight scenes are well done. Laurent Demianoff is one of the co-ordinators, and he is responsible for the Taken franchise.

The score from Frank Ilman was spot on, and was really able to bring us into the movie, from the action sequences, to the more sombre moments of the film. He has a very extensive filmography, but I haven’t really come across any of his work before.

Gillan really gives it her all in terms of her performance. She is believable as a emotionally scarred woman who has had to fend for herself her whole life. She plays well off of Coleman, who plays the girl she has saved.

It was great to have an action movie that was entirely led by a female ensemble. The cast does well, although if I am being nit picky some of the supporting cast seem like they were just going through the motions. I would also have to say that the ‘primary’ antagonist was completely forgetful and (despite what happens in the climax fight scene) didn’t really appear to be much of a risk.

At 114m it is a tad too long, and could have done with some editing in places. That being said, this was an enjoyable romp. Much like Nobody which I reviewed recently, it had a John Wick style to it, but was able to be its own film due to the Noir style it held.


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