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Arts and Culture

'Gunpowder Milkshake' Review With Casey

Since last year was so unique for the film industry, the summer of 2020 felt refreshingly different at least for new releases. The constant conveyor belt of vapid action films halted last summer and other, more unique, films received more attention like First Cow, Shirley, and Miss Juneteenth. Since the light at the end of the COVID tunnel is still frustratingly far away, I thought the summer of 2021 would continue to offer surprising and memorable examples of independent film. But I realized I was wrong after watching Gunpowder Milkshake which premiered on July 14 through Netflix.

Starring Lena Heady (Game of Thrones, 2011-2019) and Karen Gillan (Jumanji: The Next Level, 2019), Gunpowder Milkshake is a colorful and stylized action film with feminine grace and rock & roll attitude. And by feminine grace and rock & roll attitude, I mean shallow acting and a sassy petulance. The plot, character development, and story structure are so paper-thin, this film feels more like an excuse to show women fighting and killing men than telling an exciting story. (I'm purposely avoiding any explanation of this film's plot because it's a waste of writing space.)

 

A messy shoot-out in a historic library and a slow-motion shoot-out in a vintage 1950s diner are given much more care and attention than the punchlines, dramatic shocks, or expressions of unity. With other flat and noisy action films released this summer like Army of the Dead, The Fast and the Furious 9 (actually titled F9: The Fast Saga), The Tomorrow War, and Cosmic Sin, it appears that constant conveyor belt of repeated ideas, stories, and performances is up and running for the summer again.