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The Rhythm Section Review

A plane crash that kills her family sends Stephanie Patrick down a rabbit hole of revenge, murder and destruction in this gripping thriller from Reed Morano. Based on a book by Mark Burnell, this is a gritty and often uncomfortable thriller, that is not afraid to show that often the life of a spy on a mission, is a million miles away from the shiny and clean cut takes we may have seen in the recent past.

With Blake Lively as Stephanie, and Jude Law as the agent in hiding that mentors her on her quest, you might be expecting some slick and Bond like escapades, however there is a realism attached to this production that lends the film a much more grounded thriller. Lively is fantastic in this role allowing herself to look and act like a woman that has lost everything and doesn’t care anymore.

A freelance journalist, complete with a calling card, is following up the story of the plane crash that kills 239 people, and knows that the true version of events is being suppressed. This sets our main character on her journey that leads from Inverness in Scotland, to Europe and New York in true international woman of mystery style, and there are other tropes at play in the screenplay too, however it is done with the a darker edge and a more conventional way and this leads us to believe in the leads and invests us in the outcome.

We have fight scenes that are bloody and violent, and when people are hurt, it looks sore, and there is a marvellous one take car chase, seen from the perspective of the driver and never veering to long shots or quick cuts. As things progress, there are moments when the whole thing felt ready to tip slightly into the realms of cliché, but on the whole it manages to course correct before drifting into parody.

It should also be noted that Barbara Broccoli is a producer on this movie, and I wouldn’t mind further outings for the cast. On the down side, there is a little too much shaky cam for me, and the splicing of two scenes together with the same characters felt slightly odd, but apart from that I was gripped from the outset and this is a recommend. Law and Lively are terrific together and there is certainly room for at least one sequel.