If lonely John Wick wants to find his relatives, he need look no further than Gunpowder Milkshake. “There’s not another person on Earth I’d rather kill people with,” says mom to daughter. Just substitute a library for the hotel and it’s the same story, female version. I thought the hat (see below) was a nice touch. Loved the hat, hated the orange “bowling” jacket. If you are into silly, stupid violence, Gunpowder Milkshake will give you your fill. I don’t think they kill quite as many as Wick, but the body count mounts up. Still, the waste of talent is mind-boggling. Somehow, Netflix continues to be the prime “benefactor” of that negative.
In some respects, Gunpowder Milkshake does find new ground. When is the last time you saw a colorful film noir? Of course, the diner is a favorite setting for this type flick. Who doesn’t love a mom and daughter (Sam) bonding over a milkshake? Then, mom (Scarlet) kills a bunch of Russians and disappears for fifteen years. Nathan, head of HR for The Firm, raises Sam. Today, they send Sam “to clean up their messes.” The latest cleanup requires Sam to “exchange some books.” The librarians, still upset over the disappearance of Scarlet, are uncertain if they should “review their protocols.” Impressed by her mea culpas, I Heart Kittens bag, and quality of weaponry, Sam wins their trust. Let the killing begin! I give Gunpowder Milkshake 2.5 Gavels an it receives a 67% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a 5.2/10 IMDb score. In essence, it’s no better, nor worse, than Wick.
Who would be stupid enough to steal from The Firm? An accountant from the clean side of the business embezzled to get funds to rescue his eight and three-quarters old daughter, Emily. After mortally wounding her father, Sam knows she must rescue Emily. Nathan warns Sam that if the money comes up missing, he will not be able to protect her. Also, looking for Sam is Jim McAlister and his rival gang. The Firm sent Sam to kill McAlister’s son and he want revenge. It’s going to be a long, rough night for Sam.
Karen Gillan (Jumanji) and Lena Headey (Fighting With My Family) form the mother-daughter duo, Sam and Scarlet. The librarians consist of Angela Bassett (Black Panther), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), and Carla Gugino (The Space Between Us). Yeoh may be the most impressive fighter of them all! Paul Giamatti (The Catcher was a Spy) is Nathan, and Chloe Coleman (My Spy) plays Emily. I’m surprised they got all this talent on a $30 million budget. Chloe is not as impressive as in My Spy, but her driving skills are pretty darn good.
“Downsized by The Firm and chased by an endless supply of McAlister’s thugs,” eventually Sam needs help. Her little “apprentice” is just not enough. So, where else would you go to look for weapons in a library, but the “self-help” section? Will the librarians and mom help “thin the herd?” Some of the writing can be witty but it’s just not enough to overcome the lack of story and gratuitous violence.
“Is slotting women instead of men into the lead roles of generic genre movies still considered some sort of progress? You could spend hours pondering the depressing intimations of that question, particularly since there’s already a sequel in development.” The Wrap
“It’d be easy to get behind the movie’s latest twist on empowered equal opportunity mass murder if there was much more to this than the slow-footed slaughter.” Movie Nation
It’s really kind of depressing to think a sequel is in development. Gunpowder Milkshake deserves a decent burial.