Synopsis:

Sam (KAREN GILLAN) was only 12 years old when her mother Scarlet (LENA HEADEY), an elite assassin, was forced to abandon her. Sam was raised by The Firm, the ruthless crime syndicate her mother worked for. Now, 15 years later, Sam has followed in her mother’s footsteps and grown into a fierce hit-woman. She uses her “talents” to clean up The Firm’s most dangerous messes. She’s as efficient as she is loyal. But when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm and protecting the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl – Emily (CHLOE COLEMAN). With a target on her back, Sam has only one chance to survive: Reunite with her mother and her lethal associates, The Librarians (MICHELLE YEOH, ANGELA BASSETT and CARLA GUGINO). These three generations of women must now learn to trust each other, stand up to The Firm and their army of henchmen, and raise hell against those who could take everything from them.

Everyone needs a personal code. Whether it be a code of ethics, code of conduct, or both, as they go hand in hand, every person should ask themselves what their’s are. Depending on your lifestyle and what you care about, the ones in the forefront may be vastly different from others. It could be to never harm animals, never date your friend’s exes, rescue women and children first, don’t get high on your own supply, or could be as simple as not littering. Your codes are essential to navigating through life and its various situations. Take a hard look at how you operate because when that difficult situation arises, your code, or lack of one, will dictate your decision-making or possibly your downfall.

“For the record, I still think this is a shit idea.”

Ready for a bone-snapping, bullet-riddled, vibrantly bloody good time filled with gangsters, redemption, and fists of female fury? Well, look no further than Navot Papushado’s Gunpowder Milkshake. I mean the name alone intrigued the hell out of me. The action-thriller is the love-child of a little John Wick, a little Kill Bill, and a whole lot of awesome. As one of the most anticipated films of the summer and it does not disappoint. There’s a level of absurdity that keeps it lighthearted and humorous, the action is badass and creative, the cast is very fun, and there’s not a single boring moment. I really enjoyed the cast of women and the young lady they brought together. We know them from such different roles but each of them has had a role or two that let you know that is not completely far-fetched to see them catching bodies and splitting wigs. Its overarching themes of redemption, betrayal, and loyalty are present and prevalent in films such as this. Unfortunately, the story and how parts of it unfold are very reminiscent of the films that I mentioned earlier.

It doesn’t make it a bad film by any means, but it also doesn’t separate itself enough to be super original. With the release of Nobody earlier this year which happens to also be in the same vein, I can’t help but feel as if some kind of universe is being built, minus Kill Bill. I know it’s a reach but let me have my dream. Anyway, the fight choreography is great, the production design and art direction are well done, and a great action film is nothing without its great score. With no full dive into each of its characters or their organization, I smell a sequel and I’m all for it. I had a great time with this Gunpowder Milkshake and you will too. Its rewatchability is high. And I kind of want a milkshake now.

Gunpowder Milkshake. Paul Giamatti as Nathan, Karen Gillan as Sam in Gunpowder Milkshake. Cr. Reiner Bajo/© 2021 STUDIOCANAL SAS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (L-R): KAREN GILLAN as SAM, CHLOE COLEMAN as EMILY. Cr: REINER BAJO/© 2021 STUDIOCANAL SAS, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pacing & Pop

Like the films that this is reminiscent of, it’s pretty much full speed ahead once it starts. The only difference is that this film has a few slightly heartwarming breaks that could possibly take you out of it a bit, but most are necessary. What really popped for me was the coded language, especially in the library. It was a very fun addition. I may need some new books myself.

GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (L-R): KAREN GILLAN as SAM, MICHELLE YEOH as FLORENCE, CHLOE COLEMAN as EMILY, ANGELA BASSETT as ANNA MAY, LENA HEADEY as SCARLET. Cr: STUDIOCANAL © 2021

Characters & Chemistry

While the cast is full of heavy-hitters I didn’t feel an immense amount of chemistry. Where I did find it was between Sam (Karen Gillan) and Emily (Chloe Coleman). After seeing this along with My Spy, Coleman can be paired with anyone, but especially Guardians of the Galaxy. The pair were the clear standouts but there is a certain pop to Anaa May (Angela Bassett) and Florence (Michelle Yeoh) that is undeniable.

Gunpowder Milkshake is now streaming on Netflix as of July 14, 2021. Stay safe and enjoy.

Director: Navot Papushado

Writers: Navot Papushado, Ehud Lavski

Producers: Alex Heineman, p.g.a, Andrew Rona, p.g.a.

Executive Producers: Shana Eddy-Grouf, Ron Halpern, Luc Etienne, Didier Lupfer, Aharon Keshales

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 54m

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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