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Gunpowder Milkshake

Although not based on any comic book, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ has a similar feel. Perhaps that’s no surprise given the current popularity of the superhero genre. Whilst the characters in ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ don’t wear capes or masks, they have the driven energy of hundreds of heroes. Like a milkshake, the film is a pure rush of froth and action with the large ensemble cast enjoying a pulsating mayhem.

Sam (Karen Gillan) is an assassin working for The Firm. Meeting Emily (Chloe Coleman), the young daughter of one of her targets, Sam learns of a group of assassins stopping at nothing to claim Emily for themselves. Sam is forced to seek the help of her estranged mother, Scarlet (Lena Headey), a former member of the Sisterhood of Assassins. Helped by friends Anna (Angela Bassett) and Florence (Michelle Yeoh), Scarlet’s group dish out justice in unimaginable ways.

‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ plays out like a very bloody cartoon. From the acting, visuals and action, it goes to the limits of an over the top atmosphere. Describing it as a female version of ‘Kingsman: Secret Service’ as directed by Quentin Tarantino wouldn’t be far off the mark. Credit to Gillan and her co-stars for enthusiastic performances as they make ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ more fun than it should be. The female team work very well together and more than equip themselves in the many stunts.

Working against this is a predictable script and uneven tone. Some scenes are played strictly for laughs where they would have worked better another way. Restraint isn’t something ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ knows and occasionally groans under the weight of its excess. The highly stylised direction and pop-art scenery keeps events moving although many of its few emotional beats feel very familiar.

Although not quite as fun as it could have been, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is still entertaining. It is undemanding silliness and is a constant treat for the eyes. For the spirited performances alone it receives high marks, as the band of ladies effortlessly prove they should never be messed with.

Rating out of 10: 6

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR RENT ON AMAZON PRIME

Nobody

Bob Odenkirk makes for an unlikely action star. Known for portraying shady lawyer Saul Goodman in the TV series ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul’, Odenkirk has had a varied career. This perhaps is why he was chosen for this action flick. His comedic and dramatic skills are used well in ‘Nobody’ which is somewhat reminiscent of the ‘John Wick’ action movies. A dependable actor who can give a good performance no matter the scenario, Odenkirk is definitely put through his paces as he becomes an action hero we never knew we needed.

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) craves a boring life. Living with his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) and children, he hopes he has achieved this. After working as a government assassin for the CIA, his retirement from that life is welcome. His past soon catches up with him when his family are threatened during a home invasion. This eventually leads to crossing paths with a dangerous Russian mob boss. When his family are marked for death, Hutch reluctantly picks up the gun one more time to eliminate those threatening his quest for peace.

It can be quite difficult blending humour with thrills. This can have the effect of diluting the impact of both if not used well. ‘Nobody’ generally succeeds in this fine balance due to a smart script and fine performances. Hutch’s simmering rage and steely determination is keenly felt via Odenkirk’s energetic role. He brings a lot of strong acting skills to a fairly predictable story. ‘Nobody’ is basically his show as everyone else mostly react to his outrageous actions.

The highlight of this type of movie is the action. ‘Nobody’ has an abundance of violent and spectacular stunts. The screenplay doesn’t shy away from the brutal world from which Hutch came. Whilst primarily a hero, shades of viscousness creep in to make a fully rounded character. Other areas of the production including cinematography and score help in making ‘Nobody’ compelling viewing which doesn’t outstay its welcome.

The easy to follow plot is merely a cipher on which to hang ‘Nobody’s stylish escapades. It will be interesting seeing where Odenkirk’s career goes next after he wraps up ‘Better Call Saul’s’ final season. On the basis of ‘Nobody’, he has potential to become a somebody in an action field crying out for more interesting protagonists.

Rating out of 10: 7

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME.