REVIEW: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE (2021) Being the first film to be directed by an Israeli


 Navot Papushado , solo – after previously directing Rabies (2010) and Big Bad Wolves (2013) with Aharon Keshales, Gunpowder Milkshake revolves around a hitman named Sam ( Karen Gillan ) who is assigned to kill a man, David ( Samuel Anderson ), for stealing some money from the company where Sam now works, The Firm. As a professional assassin, the task is definitely not a difficult thing. However, when he learns that David stole the money to be used as ransom for his daughter, Emily (Chloe Coleman ), who is being kidnapped, Sam's heart is then moved to help. Sam himself then delivered the ransom money to the kidnapper with the intention of reclaiming the money and returning it to the company after Emily managed to get it. Unfortunately, the plan failed and even the stolen money disappeared. Sam, who used to hunt and kill people who have been determined by The Firm, is now wanted because he is suspected of having stolen company money.

The premise of a hunter who later becomes the person being hunted is indeed not a new theme of the story. However, fortunately, the Gunpowder Milkshake story script that Papushado worked on together with Ehud Lavski didn't just talk about the main character's efforts to escape from those who were hunting him. The most interesting part of this film actually comes from exposure to the past of the main character who is told to have a bad relationship with his mother who also works as an assassin, Scarlet ( Lena Headey).), after his mother chose to leave him when he was a teenager. Papushado and Lavski were able to dynamically manage the conflict that created between the mother and child characters by contributing to the excavation of strong characterization for both Sam and Scarlet. Indeed, the storytelling element still uses various patterns of storytelling for an action film with a similar theme that has been produced by Hollywood. Even so, Papushado is capable enough to provide work that makes the storytelling of the film less obsolete.

For a film that has a presentation duration of 114 minutes, Gunpowder Milkshake doesn't have enough depth to the story that will make the audience feel really attached. Whether it's intentional – saved for later opening in the planned sequel – or not, many layers of conflict and character stories told on this film's storyline appear with minimal development. Just look at how the portrayal of antagonistic characters is quite monotonous or a splinter story about the relationship of the characters Sam and Scarlet with the characters who are described as playing a role in their past, such as Madeleine ( Carla Gugino ), Florence ( Michelle Yeoh ), and Anna. May (Angela Bassett ). Papushado and Lavski seem to only provide these characters as a trigger as well as a driving force for the existence of conflict in this film without ever polishing it better.

Apart from a number of weaknesses in the storytelling, it must be admitted that Gunpowder Milkshake was successfully packaged to become an engaging action presentation. Papushado presents his film with a fast-paced storytelling rhythm. The support of brutal action choreography with the quality of a classy production department – ​​from the execution of effects, makeup and hair, to the choice of classic rock songs that fill many scenes – also makes the appearance of this film more convincing. The film acting department is also a crucial part of the success of this film in making an impression. Gillan was able to hold the audience's attention as a whole. However, it's hard to argue that Gunpowder Milkshakefeels really alive when Headey, Gugino, Yeoh, and Bassett are interacting and showing off their fighting skills. Coleman and Paul Giamatti's slick appearance also adds to the solid quality of the film acting department. A fun action presentation.

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