I have two rules when going to the movies: the film should be entertaining and it should be made a competent team of filmmakers. The Rhythm Section failed on both aspects. One must ask themself how such a movie could be made and why it was released in the first place? Or better yet, who greenlit this project is probably a more appropriate question. It seemed like a sure win, with a solid lead actress, a simple plot and the promise of an engaging thriller. So what went wrong?
The movie (based on the book by the same name by Mark Burnell, who wrote the screenplay) tells the story of Stephanie Patrick (Black Lively), a woman who’s family was killed in a plane crash that also took the lives of over two-hundred people. That was three years ago and since that tragic loss, Stephanie has lost her way in life. She was one of the top students at her school and now lives in a world or drugs and selling her body for extra cash. It’s a sad world but one she feels comfortable in. That is, until a man who identifies himself as a journalist named Keith Proctor (Raza Jaffrey) investigating the plane crash reveals evidence that it wasn’t an accident.
He invites her back to his place where she discovers an entire room filled with pictures of all the victims from the crash including her family. According to Proctor, he states that a bomb was on board the plane, planted there by some shadow terrorist cell. He explains all this to Stephanie who is at first skeptical, but listens nonetheless. Anyway, the bomb was planted onboard, everyone died, and the bomber is running around free. There’s even word that he’s making yet another bomb but the proper authorities won’t arrest him!
Let’s jump ahead right quick. Stephanie later meets a man named Boyd (Jude Law) who knows all about her life and agrees to train her so that she can track the people responsible and kill them. She travels to different countries, accepting contracts and somehow gets away without even alerting the governments of those countries. Wow, she must be surely the best.
I won’t say that the acting isn’t bad here. It’s quite good, actually, but the script is atrocious to say the least. The Rhythm Section is just under two hours in length and yet I felt as if I had been in the theater for almost three. Even when we meet all the important characters and they exposition what’s happening and who all the major players are, I still felt lost. This is one of the movies where I watched in awe at nothing happening on the screen. In short, the movie is boring, the story is lame and even when all the supposed evidence is mentioned, I was questioning the veracity of it.
Verdict: 0 out of 5 Stars
The Rhythm Section is a sad excuse for a spy/action thriller. There’s no life is this movie at all and should have been left as a novel, or a short film at the very least. As a $50 million dollar budget film, however, the audience is going to feel robbed of their time. Director Reed Morano did great work on The Handmaid’s Tale but here, her talents are completely absent. The action isn’t involving, Mark Burnell’s script isn’t entertaining and the end result is a spy thriller that doesn’t add up to much.
In fact, I was more interested in the plane crash and wanted to know more about that but, instead got pulled into a story that I forgot about as soon as I walked out of the theater. Congratulations to The Rhythm Section for being one of the tedious films of the year thus far, and that isn’t a complement!