Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) movie review
A Netflix original, Gunpowder Milkshake is an action comedy starring Karen Gillan as a professional killer who, after a job gone right, ends up on the run from another group of killers. The film was released on Netflix earlier this month to a mixed reception. And since there’s no box office numbers to talk about, on to the review!
Gunpowder Milkshake was actually a nice surprise. The film gets off to an admittedly rocky start, with a sloppy, careless tone that felt a little too much like Netflix’s 2019 action film Polar. That said, there’s one particular fight in this film where everything clicks. So to give a ‘should you or shouldn’t you?’ Check out the first twenty minutes or so. If you don’t like the tone by the fight in the bowling ally, you won’t care about the rest of the film. For me though, that’s when this movie got good!
One thing that really works (and then doesn’t) is the story. While the film sets itself up to feel like a John Wick (2014) style story, it very quickly turns into a small scale comedy drama about a killer, her estranged mother, and a little girl who is with them. This really worked, as the film could not only focus on characters and themes, but it helped the light tone carry a certain carelessness to the approach of action. This leads to some genuinely hilarious action sequences that are as inventive as they are entertaining! That said, by the end of the film, there is certainly a lack of stakes to keep any sort of tension regarding story itself. (Plus it’s a little long.)
As far as the action goes, it very much reflects the pacing of the overall film. At first it’s odd, but when it gets going, we are treated to more than a few wonderfully created action sequences that blend strong choreography with legitimately competent filmmaking. Something I should note that at least one big budget theatrical blockbuster could learn from… (coughcoughsnakeeyes). The visual effects did leave something to be desired, however I think that has less to do with the literal wounds taken by the waves upon waves of henchmen and more with the increasingly impervious the protagonists become by the end.
The performances didn’t disappoint either. I didn’t think anyone in the film did an amazing job or anything, but everyone from Karen Gillan to Lena Heady to Michelle Yeoh plays their parts with more enthusiasm than they needed to for a Netflix original. That is always appreciated, and perhaps the only nice thing I had to say bout Polar… Also Chloe Coleman is really funny! She was good in My Spy (2020), but that film wasn’t actually funny. Gunpowder Milkshake is funny, so she and Gillan get to show off their comedic sides more than a few times!
By the end of the film, the high from the second act of this film did die down thanks to a runtime that runs a bit further than it could handle, as well as a story that becomes more and more weightless as the film goes. Still, once it gets going, it’s a really fun time! The action was actually great, the film managed a perfectly careless tone without losing tack of some great themes, and the creativity that went into the film warrants a watch alone. It’s not great, but you should check it out. 6/10.
So Gunpowder Milkshake? Did you see it? What did you think? And what is your favorite Netflix film of 2021 so far? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more like it, let us know below what we should talk about next!
-review by Ryan Prince