‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is an action thriller taking you on a unique path of an assassin and how her actions lead her to have multiple organizations after her, the addition of a child to her journey, and her mother who she hadn’t seen in fifteen years. Directed by Navot Papushado, who is also a writer, along with Ehud Lavski the recently released action thriller can be seen on Netflix.The film follows Samantha (Karen Gillan) daughter of Scarlet (Lena Heady), a group of librarians, Madeliene (Carla Gugino), Florence (Michelle Yeoh), and Anna May (Angela Bassett), and Emily (Chloe Coleman) who is an eight (and three quarter) year old girl who becomes apart of the group. The men after the girls include Nathan (Paul Giamatti), and Jim McAlester (Ralph Ineson) who bring the whole film together by their connections with Sam and negativity towards her.
Starting on a positive note, there was a lot to the movie that was quite enjoyable. Unlike most action thrillers, there wasn’t a goal set out for the protagonist that the whole movie builds up to, but instead takes you on many different twists including multiple goals, and the addition of characters which made it enticing to keep watching. At the start of the film Emily is faced with three major challenges. “The firm,” an organization that we are informed “runs everything” (it is never truly clear what their business entails), wants to kill her if she doesn’t do her job correctly, an earlier mission got her in trouble because she killed the son of a head of a Russian gang (it is never clear), and she has to steal money back to essentially save her life.
As these plot points start progressing, the mission to save the money goes south, she kills a man, tries to save him, and then Sam saves his daughter. From here on out new twists come to play as “The Firm” cuts her off, the Russians are after her, and she is stuck with Emily. The plot of the movie only got stronger as it went on. Emily and Sams’ relationship is also written really well as it is essential to the film’s progression and links everything together. It brings the librarians back into play, causes her relationship with her mother to change, and gives her something to fight for.
Although the film was enjoyable to watch with quality writing, there were some aspects of the film that made it less enjoyable, and sometimes could even make you cringe. For starters, Sam, the protagonist, is not particularly like-able. Although she is supposed to be a cold hearted killer, she seems to under-due her bitterness to the world, and isn’t very intense at times. She is the main character, and although you do root for her, she isn’t someone you would necessarily want to cheer for if the movie wasn’t set up as it is. The villains were also very stereotypical, and made them less intimidating.
It is also very unclear in what time frame and world this movie takes place in. It starts in what seems to be Japan but at other times seems to be a London setting. It also has a lot of modern yet classical aspects to it including weapon use and scenery. There are many Japanese aspects included in the film including the phones, luggage, and many scenes where there are bright lights (like the bowling alley and certain signs outside and inside buildings). This does make it visually appealing but also confusing to get an idea of where they are and what is going on around them. The directors interestingly leave the imagination up to you. There is no showing of “The Firm’s” actual influence on society, and no real picture of the outside world which makes it harder to believe and want to watch.
There were also some scenes that were very unrealistic, including fight sequences where the main fighters would receive several major gun wounds yet still be able to fight. There was also a more unrealistic fight where Sam managed to kill a group of men while not being able to use her arms. And in some of the fight scenes the enemy wouldn’t bring guns for some reason, and the librarians or Sam and her mother didn’t use the guns readily available to them.
Verdict: 2.5 out of 5
‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ has a good plot which is worth watching all the way through, but it can be predictable and stereotypical of a typical action thriller at times. Although it has great fighting scenes, at the end of the day they aren’t realistic. The film is quite visually appealing, but the director’s style can cause some confusion. It is a good watch but don’t expect too much from it.