Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

gunpowderI sit here wondering what in the world to say about this terrifically underwhelming tosh. It is clearly, absolutely, shamefully indebted to the John Wick films, something so frequently noted by myself of late (the films Kate, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and Nobody, the latter that I haven’t reviewed yet) that I wonder if it hasn’t suddenly reached some cinematic critical mass. Everybody seems to be referencing John Wick, and in just the same way as in the late seventies/early eighties all those sci-fi efforts ‘inspired by’ Star Wars were all pretty woeful, all these action movies are wholly inferior to John Wick (well, except maybe Nobody, which I really enjoyed, but more on that hopefully later when I get chance to post a review).

Gunpowder Milkshake‘s ingenious (well, maybe not) spin on the John Wick formula brings the novel twist of the protagonists all being women, and all the bad guys/bastards being men. Its about as nuanced and sophisticated as that, and I know of quite a few YouTubers who will get their boxer shorts in a right royal knot at the woke explosion that is this film. It’ll come, I’m sure. I try to stay out of all that gender politics although it winds me up plenty at times, but subtle on such issues this film isn’t (“There’s a group of men called The Firm. They’ve been running things for a long, long time… They think they’re untouchable. They think they can get away with anything”/”But they won’t right?”/”No. They won’t. Not anymore!”). Yeah these sisters are doing it for themselves.

I could, for instance, just reel off all manner of juicy quotes from the films remarkably complex script: “She got us good, Doc. I don’t think I’ll walk again”/”Well, there must be an epidemic, because I’ve got a guy in the next room who’s got similar symptoms”/”What do you mean?”/”I mean, a girl f**ked him up, too.” I’m sure some people lap this stuff up as being absolutely revelatory and hip and intoxicating. The men are all evil or stupid or both, and most are generally incompetent. That’s about the extent of Gunpowder Milkshake‘s philosophy, which would be fine if it was tongue in cheek and maybe self-knowing, but this thing is relentless in its world-building, securing a mythology to mirror the world-building of the John Wick films, only from a wholly feminist bent. Which, as I say, is fine, particularly if it was a bit arch and self-deprecating but seeing slightly-built women kicking four worlds of shit out of armies of man mountain bad-guys twice their size… it was daft in Kate, its quite nauseating in this. There’s nothing particularly feminine about these women- its curious that they are behaving entirely like men themselves, as if there’s an in-joke within these films lost upon the cast and crew, earnest as they are. I mean, this film has a hell of a cast: Lena Headley, Carla Cugino, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Karen Gillian and Paul Giamatti. All utterly wasted in overly-stylish, pretentious nonsense.

So anyway, before I leave myself open to a torrent of abuse by fervent fans of this odd film (I’m sure there are some out in the wild), I’ll leave it there. Its getting late, I’m tired, and really, I was wasting my time watching this tripe, wasting my time writing about it just makes me twice the fool.

7 thoughts on “Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)

  1. Tom

    Dismissive, but probably fairly so. I haven’t seen Gunpowder Milkshake, mainly because I don’t think Karen Gillan is a good actor at all, and the whole thing looks shamelessly derivative. I think that’s where these things are going though, the IP of John Wick just holds such sway over action movies right now it’s incredible. One day another creative One will rise from the muck and then create a new wave of copycats. I’m thankful a lot of these are heading straight to streaming though, I wouldn’t be paying to see these in theaters.

    1. That’s the weird thing about the past twelve months, so many films have gone direct to streaming, bought by Amazon and Netflix etc, and they are so poor, I can’t imagine anyone being expected to pay cinema ticket prices to see such tosh. A lot of them aren’t DTV films or low-budget films, but you’d think they were when watching them as they drop on the streamers. I’m not seeing many where I think, “yeah that would have been good on the big screen”. Film-making is at a pretty bad place at the minute; I don’t know if its risk-aversion or lack of talent. Clearly Netflix etc are so desperate for content the quality-bar is set pretty low but that’s no excuse for many of these projects.

      1. Matthew McKinnon

        ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is showing in quite a few cinemas in London. It’s being heavily promoted.

        Looks like a massive w**k to me, I’m staying well clear. And that new Edgar Wright movie.

  2. Matthew McKinnon

    Nah, it’s tailor -made for a certain kind of crowd. A big chunk of the Prince Charles Cinema crowd (they’re showing it on 35mm, FFS), the Edgar Wright crowd, the crowd for whom Tarantino was the giddy heights, the crowd who regard The Raid and John Wick as Cinema.

  3. Pingback: The 2021 List: September – the ghost of 82

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