Gunpowder Milkshake (2021): Beautiful Style and Action But World Needed More Development

“Gunpowder Milkshake” is a good stylized action film that would have been great if the world had been developed more. There aren’t really any unique villains which is a shame given how unique and fantastic the heroes are. This is still worth checking out though and I’m curious what Navot Papushado will make next as his style is a lot of fun and he knows how to film good action.

The film was directed and co-written by Navot Papushado with the other writer being Ehud Lavski.

The story follows the assassin Sam (Karen Gillan) when a job goes south and she must protect the child of the man she killed named Emily (Chloe Coleman) as Sam is reunited with her mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) and the sisterhood assassin organization her mother was once a part of.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros:

The World – You have giant crime organizations, the secret Firm who controls everything and the Librarians a secret group of assassins and weapons sellers. This is such a fantastic introduction to a world that I’d like to spend more time in.

The Cinematography – The scene uses shadows and bright colors to give the world a unique and comic book feel. You can tell that this is a world of secret organizations and groups of assassin librarians as the colors and darkness capture the tone of the world so well. Michael Seresin did a great job on the cinematography.

The Action – The action is very stylized and brutal and looks amazing. The use of colors and how blood is a part of that with axes, swords and guns gives it a comic book feel that brings scenes to life. None of the action scenes are boring.

The Librarians / Sisterhood – The librarians / sisterhood are so much fun. You have Angela Bassett’s Anna May who doesn’t trust and has baggage with Scarlet, Michelle Yeoh’s Florence who is kind and the idealistic Madeleine played by Carla Gugino who loves the librarian part of the job and dies in the assault on the library by McAlister’s men. In the end they get revenge on McAlister and his organization and leave with Sam, Scarlet and Emily. I wish we had learned more about how their organization works as they are a cool idea but just need more development of what they’ve done and do and how they work as a group.

Sam and Scarlet – The core relationship is between Sam and Lena Headey’s Scarlet who is her mom. We learn her mom went underground because she went against the firm to kill her husband’s murder. She has lived with the regret since which leads to her helping protect the child Emily whose father Sam accidentally killed. They both become her surrogate parents with the Librarians / Sisterhood and seeing them all learn to open up and heal is powerful and worked. I wish we had more scenes with Sam and Scarlet.

The Cons:

Blocky Editing – Some of the editing ruins how flowing the pacing is and how much time has past isn’t always apparent. This is most apparent when the Boneheads show up to face Sam during the hostage exchange. It is unclear how quickly or when they showed up.

The Villains – For how awesome Sam and the Librarians are we don’t have any unique enemies or enemy leaders for them to face. The Firm is a bunch of old men and McAlister has nothing about him and his minions to make them unique. I wanted some unique villains like what we get in “James Bond” and “John Wick” as nearly everything else in this film worked. The Firm needed better minions than the Boneheads who just came off as dumb and incompetent.

Better editing and villains would have made this film great as the style of the film is unique, the core characters are great and I like the potential that exists in this unique world. If a sequel is ever made I will watch it as this film is still good and is one I recommend if you are looking for a solid action film.

Final Score: 8.4 / 10

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