By Jamie Miller
Greetings Nightlighters, it is I, “ the action movie-loving, adjective addicted American,” Jamie Miller here, with yet another issue of Nightlight. As you know by now, I am a fan of action movies. Next to superhero and horror movies, they tend to make up a large percentage of what I watch. If you say the film involves assassins, I’m watching it five seconds later. So imagine my joy when I learned that Netflix was churning out an assassin movie. Then when I learned Lena Heady of “Game Of Thrones” was in a starring role, well, I just had to watch it.
“Gunpowder Milkshake” tells the tale of Sam, a vicious but reckless assassin, who after being abandoned by her mother, a fellow assassin, grows up to be just as lethal as her. When Sam’s bosses need someone dead… They call her. However, what should have been an easy hit turns out to be anything but. Now, Sam is not just fighting to protect her life but the life of a young girl named Emily. To achieve this goal, Sam must do something she never thought she would ever do… Align with her mother. In order to survive, the women will have to team up with old friends and survive a literal legion of assassins, who seek nothing less but their utter destruction.
The movie stars Karen Gillan, known for playing Amelia ‘“Amy”’ Pond in the eleventh season of “Doctor Who” and Nebula in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”. Also along for this blood soaked brutal battle is Lena Headey, known for playing Cersei Lannister in “Game Of Thrones,” in the role of Scarlet, Sam’s mother and an equally deadly assassin. Michelle Yeoh, known for playing Captain Phillippa Georgiou in “Star Trek: Discovery” and Colonel Wai Lin in “Tomorrow Never Dies,” plays Florence, one of Scarlet’s former allies and an aunt figure to Sam. Angela Bassett, known for her roles in multiple seasons of “American Horror Story” plays the part of Anna May, another of Scarlet’s former allies and an aunt figure to Sam, who is far more confrontational and aggressive than her sisters in arms. Carla Gugino, known for roles such as Laurie Roberts in “American Gangster” and Sally Jupiter in “Watchmen,” plays Madeline, another former ally of Scarlet and aunt figure to Sam. Madeline is far kinder and warmer than her fellow sisters in arms. Seeking to cut the family reunion short is Jim McAlester, played by Ralph Ineson known for, among other roles, playing William in “The Witch.” McAlester is a brutal criminal who seeks to annihilate Sam in retribution for her killing his son during a hit. Adam Nagaitis, known from shows such as “Chernobyl” and “The Terror,” plays the part of Virgil, McAlester’s nephew and a brutal assassin with skills rivaling those of Sam and the others. Michael Smiley, known for having roles in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “The World’s End,” plays Doctor Ricky, the sniveling sarcastic head doctor of a secret clinic for assassins. Paul Giamatti, known from “Fred Claus” and “Man On The Moon,” plays Nathan, head of the HR department at the firm who employs Sam, and her adopted father having looked out for her after her mother abandoned her.
The movie was pretty solid. I mean, it didn’t make me jump out of my seat or anything. It is a standard ‘assassin gets betrayed and goes on a murderous murder spree against those who wronged her,’ story. Adding the whole family dynamic was a nice touch though. The performances were pretty well done. All in all, I give it a solid five and a half torches out of 10. I recommend watching it. Just don’t go in expecting “John Wick” or “Peppermint.”