Assassins taking on assassins, some glorious fight scenes with plenty of gore and a strong female cast makes Gunpowder Milkshake a very enjoyable movie, which doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Karen Gillan is Sam. A badass assassin who could easily take on Uma Thurman’s The Bride in Kill Bill and come out on top. Abandoned by her mother, Scarlet (Lena Heady) 15 years ago, Sam becomes embroiled in a battle that she isn’t solely responsible for. Gillan is so freaking awesome in this. She’s so stone faced that her face barely twitches as she takes on anyone who dares to challenge her. Well, that’s until events lead her to meeting 11 year old Emily (Chloe Coleman) who eventually breaks down Sam’s softer side.
The wider cast have just as much impact too. Sam being left in the care of Nathan (Paul Giamatti) provides some interesting aspects but it’s when Sam finds her way to a library which is secretly screening a group of women who enjoy a fight just as much as she does, that adds incredible strength to the movie. Anna May (Angela Bassett) and Florence (Michelle Yeoh) are a combination I never knew I needed. The two of them together just completely capture your attention – I’m left craving another team up from them. Along with Madeline (Carla Gugino) these ladies are a force to be reckoned with. They store weapons in books and the titles they pick out often have more meaning than just what they contain.
There are some truly fantastic combat scenes. Some of them add a slight touch of humour which have you smirking as you’re watching total brutality. The scene in the bowling alley between Sam and ‘the boneheads’ was a particular stand out due to its brilliance. Another scene where all these wonderful ladies take on Nathan’s group of men ‘The Firm’ at their library is a spectacle. What made it more interesting was the range of weapons they used, especially Michelle Yeoh’s skills with some chains. The background and visuals around them really added to the excitement.
The story running throughout the movie obviously gave it direction, but some of it seemed to be there to wrap around the action to give all the fighting some context. There were some very Tarantino-esque vibes during it which made it easily comparable to Kill Bill, as well as moments which reminded me of John Wick. And along with all the awesome fighting, shooting and stabbing, there’s the complexity of family relationships as we explore the relationship between Sam and Scarlet as well as seeing Sam take on a parental role for Emily.
Is this what they meant by girl power? Because these ladies KICK ASS!!!
Gunpowder Milkshake hits Sky Cinema 17th September