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Canberra Today -3°/4° | Sunday, August 7, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Movie review / ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ (M)

“Gunpowder Milkshake”… its underlying message seems to be that women have an innate capacity to be as violent as men.

“Gunpowder Milkshake” (M) *

“GUNPOWDER Milkshake” films blood and violence against distinctive backdrops, in an art deco Anywhere that sets it apart from the herd, with every camera angle, every mise en scene, carefully crafted to make it as blood-soaked an example of vengeance and survival as any.

Which raises the question, is it worth the ticket price? The answer to that may depend on the viewer’s gender. For its underlying message seems to be that women have an innate capacity to be as violent as men. That makes it the second movie currently screening, alongside “Black Widow”, to propose that rather scary idea.

It’s Israeli director Navot Papushado’s fourth movie and his first to be screened in Australia. It’s the first written by Ehud Lavski. They make a formidable team. Let’s see if they team up again. But until then, we’ve got to be content with “Gunpowder Milkshake”, which I judge to be a well-crafted waste of screen time.

So what’s it about?

When Sam (Karen Gillan) was 12, her elite assassin mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) abandoned her to be raised by The Firm, the ruthless crime syndicate her mother worked for. At 27, Sam has grown into a fierce hit-woman employed to clean up The Firm’s most dangerous messes. 

As efficient as she is loyal, when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm or protecting innocent eight-year-old Emily (Chloe Coleman).

Sam’s only survival prospect means reuniting with Scarlet and her lethal associates The Librarians (Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino). 

The three generations of women must now learn to trust each other, stand up to The Firm and their army of henchmen, and raise hell against those who could take everything from them.

So as well as having to prove itself by its feminist theme and the quality of its fundamental film craft, “Gunpowder Milkshake” needed to do only one thing during its 114 minutes run time. And that was, and is, to convince its audience that it’s worth the ticket price. Fortunately, I have passes to see movies at no charge. And my judgement is that I could have spent those minutes better.

At all cinemas


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Dougal Macdonald

Dougal Macdonald

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