By: Amanda Guarragi
What can be said about Gunpowder Milkshake?
Well, it does bring the neon lights with some style and cool fight choreography. It has a solid soundtrack, and a fantastic cast of women, but it still falls short. We open on Sam (Karen Gillan) who is on a job for her boss Nathan (Paul Giamatti). It looks cool, sleek, and feels like its neo-noir with a modern action movie spin to it. The combination of those genres can only work if the script is strong, and sadly, this was a little too simple for my liking. They stretched a simple concept really thin. It didn’t have enough substance to match the flashy style of the lighting and camerawork.
What was the most upsetting is that Karen Gillan gave the most bland, internal performance I’ve seen in a while. It’s hard to lead a film if you are emotionless and stiff the entire time, rarely giving anything for your co-stars to even work with. You have absolute legends like Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, Lena Headey, and Michelle Yeoh in this film, that were barely giving anything, and they still outperformed the lead of the film. It is hard to sit through this, knowing that those four actresses are there, waiting for the final battle, when they could have been scattered throughout the film.
The concept was there but the execution was disappointing. It was great to see an all female cast in an action film but they underused them as well. We have Sam, whose mother (Lena Headey) abandoned her at a young age do go do a job. Then 15 years later, Sam takes on her mothers hitman job and works for ‘The Firm’ with Nathan. She ends up whacking the henchmen of another big boss and he wants to get even. Very straightforward, had so much potential to be a fun, action film, but the entire second act was painfully boring. The highlight was when Sam went to the “library”, and there she meets Yeoh, Gugino and Bassett. She needed books, and in those books, there were different guns.
Gunpowder Milkshake had so much going for it, but it fell victim to having a wicked trailer, that had every good part of the movie in it. I had so much hope for this film because of this all-star cast but I was really disappointed with it. There were great action sequences but some of them ran long and felt really generic. There were choices made that lasted longer than it should have and that is what makes it a drag. There are ways to make something unique, play it up, and then know when to fold them. Sadly, this film is the lowest blow for me this year because of how hyped I was for it.