For most firearms enthusiasts, watching an action movie can be painful. Until “John Wick,” it was difficult to find a movie that incorporated realistic and accurate firearm handling skills. On July 14, Netflix released the new movie, “Gunpowder Milkshake.” When I heard comments that this movie was the female counterpart to “John Wick,” I decided to check it out.
“Gunpowder Milkshake” Hits & Misses
“Gunpowder Milkshake” is listed as an “action thriller” and is exclusively on Netflix. This film has an all-star cast consisting of Karen Gillan, Lena Heady, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett and Carla Gugino. The plot revolves around Sam (Gillan) following in her mother’s (Headey) footsteps as an elite assassin after being abandoned by her at 12 years old. Sam works for a crime syndicate called The Firm, just as her mother did.
The Firm is heavily affiliated with a Russian crime syndicate. Sam is their top go-to assassin until things go terribly wrong, making Sam the Firm’s new target. Sam now must find a way to stay alive while also protecting the 8-year-old little girl she acquired through her botched hit. With both the Firm and the Russians gunning for her, Sam turns to the female assassins who trained her for help, (Yeoh, Bassett and Gugino). With the return of her mother, Scarlett (Headey), these five women must learn to once again trust each other and survive.
I am not a professional movie critic, so I can only offer my own personal rating scale of one to five stars. “Gunpowder Milkshake” is only getting one star, and trust me, that is being generous. My first thought as the movie finished was, “I am never going to get that 1 hour and 54 minutes of my life back”. The only way this movie can be mentioned in the same sentence as John Wick is if you are referring to it as a parody.
John Wick Its Not
It is listed as an action/thriller, but really should be categorized as comedy/gore. The overuse of attempted humor during fight scenes left me wondering if I should be laughing or shocked at the graphic imagery. It almost felt like “Dumb and Dumber” merged with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” with an added sprinkle “The Notebook.” At least they didn’t take the cheap route and use sex to sell.
Sorry to disappoint you gentlemen, but these women are covered up more than most nuns. More effort was put into implementation of shock and awe factors instead of building characters and storyline. In short, the movie seemed to be built around showcasing weapons and killing, leaving it without actual substance. The setting is modern day with a 1950’s artistic feel. As far as weapons handling and fighting are concerned, the women did well – some parts however were very unrealistic and almost laughable.
One positive is that this movie does showcase an array of badass guns! Easily spotted were SIG Sauer, Walther, Smith & Wesson, CZ USA, Heckler and Koch, Mossberg and more. Madeline, (Gugino), shoots a General Dynamics GAU-17/A mounted on a VW Bus during one of the indoor battle scenes. Scarlett shoots a pair of 1911 pistols that feature a stainless-steel finish and pearl grips with a dragon inlay design, incorporating underbarrel mounts for pistol bayonets. Ironically, with an unlimited number of badass guns, there was never enough ammunition! These women were constantly moving to improvised weapons such as hammers, chains, a broken broom stick, and my personal favorite – a small panda bear suitcase.
I do have a favorite scene – well, more like a favorite gun in a scene. In the final battle Scarlett is wielding a Winchester 1892 “Mare’s Leg.” This is a nostalgic lever-action gun that I have personally wanted to acquire for quite some time. Scarlett worked this gun with ease as she would continually spin the gun in her hands, working the oversized lever. Realistic or not, Headey looked absolutely fierce in this scene.
Maybe my expectations are too high, but this movie was just painful to watch. The cast of strong actresses using cool guns is really all “Gunpowder Milkshake” has to offer. So, there you have it, my honest opinion. If you happen to watch this for yourself, let me know what you think.