Movie Reviews

Published on January 31st, 2020 | by Angele Colageo


The Rhythm Section

Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) lost her parents and siblings when their flight crashed on their way to holidays. She was supposed to be on the flight with them, but she decided against going. Plagued with survivor’s guilt, she dropped out of University even though she had top marks. This begins her downward spiral of alcohol, drugs and aimlessness. As she plummets to bottom, an investigative journalist finds her and explains that the flight was not an accident, but a bomb.

With that revelation, she is now on a mission to find those who sanctioned and ordered the murder as well as those who contributed to the method. As she goes forward into the discovery of the culprits, you see her transformation from the addict, to the victim, to the investigator, to the assassin. Blake Lively does an excellent job conveying Stephanie’s thought process as she navigates through the twists and turns in the life of an assassin.

Iain Boyd (Jude Law) is her reluctant mentor. He did not expect much from her since she is a civilian with no knowledge of how to protect herself. This is not a version where the protagonist turns into La Femme Nikita, this take is more realistic in the sense asking what would happen if a regular person were put in that position. Knowing that she lacks the skills and ability, he states that he can only teach her how to survive.

She trains every day, showing the difficulty in a repetitive montage. Iain’s wants to build up her skills based on her strengths. He spent time teaching her the most general tactics that she could use and adapt to for efficiency. Once he feels that she had enough training he sets her off on the path with guidance and direction.

I would have liked to see more development of Stephanie’s character regarding her skill set. It’s pointed out by Iain, in the trailer, that in order for her to learn everything, it would be well beyond her memory of her menopause in order to master what she wants. I can understand where the director and writer want to establish her as the University student who lived an idyllic life, happy family, great intelligence and excels in whatever she does.

Now Stephanie is very smart with no experience of physical combat, no knowledge of weapons and has no idea how to protect herself. She’s supposed to be a university student that is exceptionally smart and instead of displaying the advantages that they had mentioned, they barely supported her strengths in the story line.

The saving grace of the movie would be the comedic lines that help offset the heavy drama of the violence. This movie seems to be intended to hit as an action/drama, since it is not based in a real-life event, the investment into action and storyline would have been time well spent. Turn her into an all-out action hero and follow her development as a female version of the equalizer.

I would be interested in seeing a sequel if one is established. But I would like to see more growth and development in the character in the process of learning survival and helping people take revenge. The actors definitely could use meatier back stories to help with the development of characters. The stunts could show the growth in her skills over time.

2 out of 5 Stars

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