'The Rhythm Section' Review With Casey
When a place crash kills a young Englishwoman's family, she spirals into depression and prostitution (and not the fancy kind with leather boots and perfume). Actress Blake Lively (A Simple Favor, 2018) shows us she can embrace the "de-glam" of a woman come undone. But the spiral stops when the young woman learns the plane crash was orchestrated by terrorists. Vengeance will be hers!
But first she has to change her hair and travel to a cabin in Scotland where she meets a handsome spy (Jude Law, Captain Marvel, 2019) who readily agrees to train her to kill the men who destroyed her life. And anyone who knows anything about being a spy knows you train for it by running on dirt trails outside and shooting guns. The fight scenes are entertaining, and a bouncy car chase adds some adrenaline, but the film is underwhelming. The tone is so emotionally shallow, and the screenplay is written with such an impatient brevity, there's no way you can develop any feelings for the leading heroine or care about what happens to her.
In order for Blake Lively to become a strong tenacious assassin, she has to master the rhythm section of her body. Too bad the director (Reed Morano, I Think We're Alone Now, 2018) didn't spend more time injecting an emotional heart of her own into this film's characters or story arcs. This movie is based on the 1999 mystery novel The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell, and I'm not dismissing the novel. But why do so many movie producers think it's a good idea to keep churning out these female spy or female assassin movies? The Rhythm Section tries so hard to be realistic and mature, but without genuine passion it fails to achieve anything poignant or fierce.
Looking back in recent years we've had Alita: Battle Angel (2019), Anna (2019), Red Sparrow (2018), Atomic Blonde (2017), Lucy (2014), Colombiana (2011), Salt (2010), and Ultraviolet (2006). I think Hollywood should cool down on this tired genre.