REVIEW: ‘The Rhythm Section’ is far offbeat

Revenge movies don’t need to be this complicated.

The “Rhythm Section” is about a woman named Stephanie (Blake Lively), who lost her entire family in a plane crash. Since the tragedy, she fell into a world of drugs and prostitution. However, she learns from an investigative journalist that the plane crash was actually orchestrated.

With that knowledge, Stephanie seeks help from a former MI6 agent named B. After some pleading, B agrees to train her and prepare her for revenge on those who planted the bomb on the plane.

Many great revenge movies have a simple premise. A one person army has a vendetta and goes after those who’ve wronged them. Good examples include “John Wick,” “Man on Fire,” “Taken” and “The Equalizer.” Even 2018’s “Peppermint” with Jennifer Garner got it right.

“The Rhythm Section,” meanwhile, is a convoluted mess, stuffed way too full of unnecessary detail. The film introduces so many things from the plane crash being some sort of cover up to the varying involvement of government agencies.

It all ends up weighing the movie down. It doesn’t help either that it’s rather easy to guess what will happen next.

Courtesy Global Road Entertainment and Paramount Pictures

On top of being too complex for its own good, “The Rhythm Section” doesn’t really make sense. This one woman suddenly goes after this terrorist group with basically a couple of months training.

While an audience can root for something like that, it’s rather nonsensical that something like this isn’t being handled by, I don’t know, the CIA, NSA, MI6, Seal Team 6 or any black ops team seen in movies. Nope, instead the only one seemingly working this case is this woman.

The tone is somewhat off at times, too. For example, there are some very dark sequences here, especially toward the start of the film. However, a short while later, a training montage starts up and it comes across somewhat cheeky. These inconsistencies don’t particularly help.

While the movie has some talent in its cast, it doesn’t feel like they’re used to their full potential here. Lively has given some really solid performances in “The Town,” “The Age of Adaline” and “The Shallows,” but here she’s rather dull.

The movie is trying to portray the character as tortured, but she comes across more as just blank. There’s not enough passion coming through in her performance. Law, meanwhile, plays a rather standard, cold ex-military guy while Sterling K. Brown forgettable as an intelligence contact.

Action-wise, “Section” is fairly by-the-books. There’s no memorable shootout or fight that can put an audience on the edge of their seat.

This is a rather forgettable picture, which is unfortunate considering the cast this had. Nothing really comes together. 1 out of 5.



Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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