Gunpowder Milkshake – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Navot Papushado
Starring: Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Chloe Coleman, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti
In selected cinemas and available on Sky Cinema September 17th
Featuring an all-star female cast this action thriller follows Sam (Gillan) who as a 12-year-old loses her assassin mother (Headey) when she skips town after a job goes wrong. Flash forward 15 years and Sam herself is now an assassin. When she is given the task of killing a man who stole money from her employers it seems a straightforward enough job. That is until she learns that he took the cash to try and save his kidnapped daughter. Freeing the girl she finds herself pursued by the kidnappers and embroiled in dodgy double-dealings so she takes off with the child in tow and turns to her mother’s friends for help. With a serious amount of firepower and moxy they engage in a shootout to end this once and for all.
This is incredibly stylish embracing neon colours and surrealist settings. It revels in its over the top action scenes and relies on them heavily to disguise its flaws. However, these scenes often feel a bit schlocky and dated. It’s as if director Papushado thinks if he distracts the audience with something big and shiny they won’t bother to scratch the surface and realise just how thin this story is. It seems more like a video game than a big-budget movie and it lacks much in the way of substance. It is wonderful to see women taking the lead in a movie like this but it is a fairly rote action flick that has been done a thousand times before. The story is all over the place and the characters are poorly developed.
The leads all do a good job with what they are given and there are some fun moments but overall this falls flat. This could have been an empowering story of female solidarity but instead, it’s just a messy and often incoherent lip service that seems more interested in showing the size of its weapons than the heart of its story. If you’re looking for something mindless to kill a few hours then this will tick that box but don’t go expecting any real depth.