By: Jacob Bloodee Jacob Babcock
Gunpowder Milkshake is the latest Netflix original film and stars Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Chloe Coleman, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti and Ralph Ineson.
It follows Eva (Gillan) a young troubled woman and assassin who ends up deciding to protect a little girl (Coleman). While on the run she reunites with her estranged mother (Headey) as they work with “librarians” (Bassett, Yeoh, Gugino) to fend off their own organization and a vengeful monster (Ineson).
I had some anticipation for this due to the vibe drawing me in and the fact that Lena Headey is one of the leads. She’s overall the main reason I watched as she is a fantastic actress in everything from Game of Thrones obviously to Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles (she’s the definitive Sarah in my eyes), 300 and any work she does honestly impresses me and I bow to her talents onscreen. She does a tremendous job here as an experienced assassin with a lot of weight and she gets ample screen time, in fact the whole cast gets their moment to shine.
For those worried or even complaining about a lack of attention for Michelle Yeoh, I disagree. She had a standout fight in the third act that showcased what we all love her for and know she can do. Bassett and Gugino are less physically impressive but the fit in fine and Gugino definitely delivers performance wise although Bassett I felt was a little on the nose with some of her delivery. Chloe Coleman I don’t think gave a bad performance for a child actor either.
Karen Gillan stepped up here. I did have some issues with some of her physical believability early on but the longer it went, her nicely tuned and emotive performance helped me warm up to her and pretty soon I didn’t even blink at the fights she pulled off because she sold me on being the character she was eventually.
Speaking of the fight scenes and action in general I thought it was all pretty superb for the most part. Of course there will be endless comparisons to John Wick but the fact is that Wick set a new bar/standard that I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. It’s gotten to the point where I believe people now take nicely done action sequences and fight choreography for granted, which is a shame. And trust me this flick delivers on that end with nicely timed slick scenes with a little bit of a unique kick and flavor to it of their own here and there and they do get inventive with the scenarios at times with a good amount of blood that satiated me.
Some have complained about the pacing but I honestly had no issues with it. I enjoyed how they developed the mother/daughter relationship and appreciated that we got to know the characters that mattered, they gave us time to breathe, cared about a bit of world building, etc. Sure the “Library” and diner locations are like the hotel and sanctuary in Wick but for the entire runtime the film while still taking itself seriously enough has a bit of a wink going on to the audience to, a little self awareness that they’re basically having fun with what’s become the norm in the genre. I wasn’t offended.
Speaking of being offended, I find it funny how some are reacting to this movie. While this is of course instilled with some female empowerment, it’s not a men hating movie or anything like that. Sure most of the men happen to be shitty people but part of the key backstory is that the mother and daughter’s husband/father was tragically killed, thus a driving force. Some viewers just have a strange problem with females taking charge with action, complaining about this fact even when it’s done well and ironically coming off like the type of people they’re saying they aren’t.
Overall male or female, this was just a blast of a movie with a highly enjoyable cast, addicting style, fitting soundtrack choices and score and makes me want more even though it ended with a satisfying bow.