About 25 minutes into Gunpowder Milkshake, we see a character lose control of their arms, who then proceeds to fight several hitmen using lethal weapons that are taped to her appendages. It’s a wacky moment full of style that seems to send the message that this isn’t female John Wick.
Sure, the plot shares many similarities with the Keanu Reeves franchise. Gunpowder Milkshake follows Sam (Karen Gillan), a young hitwoman who is on the run from a shadow organization called The Firm after she unintentionally slaughters the wrong mark. There’s even a safe house in the form of a library that immediately draws comparisons to The Continental Hotel.
However, director Navot Papushado differentiates his film by honing in on the family dynamic between Sam and the librarians. The teamwork between these characters make the action set pieces engaging and sprinkled with congenial bickering. The film does occasionally go overboard on the family aspect though, with the scenes between Sam and her mother, Scarlet (Lena Headey) coming off as more melodramatic than emotionally resonating.
Still, Gunpowder Milkshake is an action-packed romp that never takes itself too seriously, while still delivering on its unorthodox family dynamic. It’s the kind of film that would make Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto jump with glee.
The Silver Lining
It’s rare to watch an action film and have it be so clearly lit. Most often, the lighting remains cold and dark to further emphasis the seriousness of the narrative. Here, the lighting matches Gunpowder‘s bloody fun tone. The entire gaffer crew’s stellar job allowed me to appreciate the well choreographed fight sequences and sleek production design to a much greater extent.
Gunpowder Milkshake is available now on Netflix.