The Rhythm Section (2020)

Reed Morano directs Blake Lively, Jude Law and Sterling K Brown in this trainee assassin thriller where an orphan from a terrorist attack goes from junkie to killer.

An unpleasant variation on a genre difficult to get wrong. The visuals and storytelling are murky and jagged. I assume they are supposed to be impressing on us the lead’s paranoid and emotionally hollow state but instead it removes us from caring about the plot as it unfolds. I felt very disassociated from what was happening onscreen. There are a few immersive action sequences that are impressively executed but not enough to sate your adrenaline fix. And if we are boiling it down to bone and skull then the half-assed conspiracy mystery that strings this together is merely an excuse for Lively to try out a series of looks. Her Golden Age Hollywood glamour is muted by the miserablist wardrobe. She gets to be bruised smackhead, shivering trainee, buttoned up incompetent. Only a scene where she poses as a high class call girl delivers the goods. No one has bought a ticket to see Blake Lively underfed, suffering and looking dowdy. And looking at the opening weekend numbers, no one did.

5

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