Gunpowder Milkshake: Film Review

Gunpowder Milkshake

Courtesy of StudioCanal/Sky Cinema

I’ve quite enjoyed watching Karen Gillan‘s evolution from Doctor Who’s companion Amy Pond to Hollywood action star and I think playing a hitwoman in Gunpowder Milkshake is a logical next step!

In this neon-soaked action thriller, she plays Sam, whose assassin mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) disappeared after a botched mission when she was only 12. Fifteen years later, she’s now working as a hitwoman for The Firm, which her mum also worked for, and is routinely sent to “clean up” their mess. During one high-risk job, Sam must choose between being loyal to The Firm or saving an eight-year-old girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman).

Gunpowder Milkshake is nothing we haven’t seen before – it’s a flimsy, hollow, shoot-’em-up that’s more style over substance (essentially like a female John Wick) but despite these flaws, it’s still an entertaining watch thanks to the star-studded ensemble co-writer/director Navot Papushado has put together as they seem to be having an absolute blast.

If you’re here for the action then you will love it because the film is basically just a bunch of action sequences strung together with minimal character development. These action scenes are high-octane, violent, super stylish and feature some very cool stunt choreography. The gunfights got a bit boring after a while so I was grateful when the guns were sometimes switched for more interesting weapons. My favourite action sequence was when Sam’s arms were deadened so she had to get inventive.

As fun as these scenes are, they would have been so much better if we’d known more about these characters and The Firm. I wanted to spend more time getting to know Sam and “the Librarians”, a trio of Scarlet’s old accomplices featuring Anna May (Angela Bassett), Florence (Michelle Yeoh) and Madeleine (Carla Gugino). Considering she’s the lead, we never know why Sam followed in her mum’s footsteps or anything about her as a person outside of the hitwoman business.

Gillan has proven how capable she is with stunt choreography in the Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers and Jumanji films so it was no surprise to see her ace these complex setpieces. She brings a quirky energy to the character and has a fun relationship with Coleman’s Emily, who naively believes she’s going to become Sam’s apprentice. I loved that the librarians were comprised of women in their 50s and 60s – you hardly ever see that whereas older actors are action stars all the time. All of the women were so badass, and my favourite was Yeoh as she gets some great fight moments. It’s also worth pointing out that Paul Giamatti is in this as Nathan, the head of HR for The Firm, and is suitably devious.

Gunpowder Milkshake has awesome visuals and I loved seeing these women kick ass, but I wanted it to have a bit more meat on its bones.

In cinemas and on Sky Cinema from Friday 17th September

Rating: 3 out of 5.

July in film: My recommendations

Black Widow

©Marvel Studios 2021

It’s the start of July so that means it’s time to take a look at what’s coming out this month!

Freaky
I have been excited to see this film for more than a year and I’m thrilled it’s finally coming out in the UK. It’s a gender-bending body-swap comedy starring Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn as a high school girl and serial killer who swap bodies. It’s very funny and really gory and seeing Vaughn playing a teenage girl brought me so much joy. In cinemas from Friday 2nd July.

Another Round
This Danish movie rightly won the Best International Feature Film Oscar earlier this year. Mads Mikkelsen is fantastic in this comedy-drama, about a group of friends and teachers who experiment with varying blood alcohol levels throughout their workday. This film has one of the best endings in recent memory. Read my review here. In cinemas from 2nd July.

Black Widow
It’s been a while since we’ve had a Marvel movie to watch on the big screen! I’m very excited by the fact cinema has recovered enough for it to happen! This standalone movie is led by Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and explores what she got up to between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. In cinemas from 7th July and on Disney+ from 9th July.

Gunpowder Milkshake
To be honest, I don’t know exactly what Gunpowder Milkshake is about because I avoided the trailer but all I need to know is that it’s an action-thriller starring Lena Headey and Karen Gillan as hitwomen. Sign me up! They are supported by more kickass assassins played by Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino and Michelle Yeoh. Hell yeah! In cinemas from 14th July.

Old
M. Night Shymalan‘s latest thriller looks wild. A family go for a day out at a secluded beach which somehow causes them to age rapidly, reducing their entire lives into a single day. I can’t wait to find out the explanation for this. The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie and more. Shymalan’s recent work hasn’t blown me away but this looks so intriguing. In cinemas from 23rd July.

Jungle Cruise
Another movie based on a Disney theme park ride, this action-adventure stars Dwayne Johnson as a steamboat captain who agrees to guide a British scientist and her reluctant brother – Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall – on their mission into the jungle to find the Tree of Life. This looks like great fun. In cinemas and Disney+ from 30th July.

The Suicide Squad

I’m excited to see Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn again tbh! This sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad follows a group of imprisoned convicts – some familiar, some new – who are sent to destroy a Nazi-era prison and lab. The trailer for this movie, directed by James Gunn, is awesome so I have high hopes. Robbie is joined by the likes of Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman and John Cena. In cinemas 30th July.

Twist: Film Review

Twist

Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist has been brought to life onscreen many times – and here’s the latest version – Twist – which brings it bang up to date with a modern London take.

This crime drama stars Rafferty Law as Twist, an orphan who likes free running and is a skilled street artist. His skills catch the attention of Dodge (Rita Ora) and Batesey (Franz Drameh), petty criminals who work for Fagin (Michael Caine). Fagin takes Twist in and offers him a home and a family – but it comes with a price; he must help them pull off a big art heist against his enemy Losberne (David Walliams). Twist also develops feelings for Red, real name Nancy (Sophie Simnett), and that puts him directly in the firing line of the loose cannon Sikes (Lena Headey).

Besides the recognisable character names and the relationships between them being similar, Twist is very different to the original Oliver Twist and it hardly ever felt familiar, which is good as that means it’s treading new ground and not telling the story we’ve seen many many times, but it also made me wonder what the point of connecting it to Twist was. If you changed the characters’ names, it has very little in common with it.

The film has a lot of energy, with frenetic camerawork following Twist and Red as they enjoy free running and a cool upbeat soundtrack, but it is more focused on keeping the action going and pushing the story forward than giving the characters depth, motives for their actions, or creating a screenplay that’s easy to follow. Considering the story is relatively straightforward, I struggled to keep up with the twists and turns of the heist and who had outsmarted whom, and I also didn’t understand why Sikes was the way she was.

Playing a Cockney geezer isn’t much of a stretch for Caine, who has starred in a Dickens movie adaptation before (The Muppet Christmas Carol), so this role wasn’t exactly taxing, but he was still perfectly cast as Fagin, the fatherly figure in the crime collective. Law – who looks so much like his dad Jude Law – was the likeable moral compass, Drameh was entertaining as Batesey, and Simnett was my favourite as Red/Nancy, who had the biggest heart. I haven’t seen Walliams in a film in a while and he made me smile as the hapless victim of their scheme.

My least favourite was Ora because I couldn’t stop thinking she was Ora – I never once believed she was Dodge, and Headey went way overboard playing the menacing, out-of-control Sikes. I didn’t believe the performance at all, but that could also be down to the screenplay not giving Sikes enough background or motivation behind her actions.

I liked how the classic Twist tale has been given a modern update with gender-flipped, more diverse characters and an LGBTQ storyline, and it was an enjoyable enough watch but I struggled to keep up with it and forgot about it instantly.

Available on Sky Cinema from Friday 29th January

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Fighting with My Family: Film Review

I love Florence Pugh so I was keen to see her transforming into a WWE star for this comedy, written and directed by Stephen Merchant. I always had a positive feeling about it but it completely surpassed my expectations.

[Read more…]

Top Films for 2016

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2016 has well and truly kicked off so what better time to look at the movies coming up in the year ahead and get excited about some the releases to come?

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Emmys: Best & Worst Dressed

The Emmy awards, which are like TV Oscars, were held in LA last night and whole host of celebs came out to celebrate. But, of course, I’m mostly interested in the outfits!

I have to admit, this year seems pretty middle of the road- most of them are “nice” or “pretty” and not many of them particularly stand out as good or bad. So baring that in mind, I have made a short list of best and worst dressed but there really isn’t much in it, in fact nobody was tragic and most people looked good. I’ll also give a reason why I dislike because a lot of it is just my personal taste.

One thing is for certain- there were some serious trends going on last night! There was a lot of sequins, yellow, split leg (a la Angelina) and an ample of cleavage (check out Kat Dennings and Christina Hendricks!) I’m certainly a fan on the yellow trend- as you will see from my choices!

 

BEST DRESSED 

Leslie Mann 

Claire Danes

Allison Williams (from Girls) 

Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory) 

Guiliana Rancic

Maria Menounos

WORST DRESSED 

Christine Baranski

It’s not the dress that bothers me but Christine just didn’t pick something age appropriate. A 60-year-old shouldn’t really be wearing something that short with sequins!  

January Jones

I seriously dislike this and I think it’s too gothic. Her slicked back hair is too harsh as well.

Hayden Panettiere

I may have liked the dress underneath on its own but the blue/purple netting on top is awful.

Lucy Liu

I’m not a fan of sequins and her dress is literally a panel of sequins. No no!

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) 

Again, like January, it is very gothic. The netting reminds me of a witch!

And the one who everyone is talking about….

Sofia Vergara

When Sofia stepped onto the carpet, Twitter went mad over her outfit. Don’t get me wrong, I think she looks hot and there is definitely some cool mermaid vibe going on but it really isn’t my taste. Very shiny and the bodice part has the texture of a disco ball.