Gunpowder Milkshake wants to be a female-centric John Wick, and that is fine. I mean, I'd watch that. However, director Navot Papushado (Big Bad Wolves) delivers an exercise of too much style combined with paper thin characters that you just don't care about. I'm just tired of seeing characters do the "bad-ass" slow motion walk while pulling out their guns. I'm also bored to tears of seeing scenes of unending CG kill shots complete with sprays of digital blood. Practical blood squibs are so much more effective. And the movie has the most understanding child character I have seen on screen in recent memory.
Anyway, Sam (Karen Gillan) is a hired killer, and after she accidentally ices her target in a scuffle, she learns that the guy has a young daughter who is being held for ransom. Becoming the protector of the girl (Chloe Coleman), Sam then becomes the target of mobsters herself. Eventually, she gets help from her estranged mother (Lena Headey), who is also an assassin.
I appreciate that the film tries for a campy sense of humor as opposed to, say, the oh so serious Atomic Blonde (2017), but it comes off as annoying rather than funny. For example, in one scene, Sam has to battle it out with a trio of henchmen who are all high on laughing gas. Ironically, the scene is laughless and shrill, and I couldn't wait for the heroine to dispatch with these turds so the scene could be over and done with.
I did like the gag with the special "library" for assassins where guns and various weapons are encased in hollowed out books. The three "librarians" are played by Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, and Carla Gugino, and I wish they were given more to do. Actually, it would have been so cool if the movie was about them.
Gunpowder Milkshake is streaming on Netflix.
** stars (out of four)