REVIEW: While flawed, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ gives audiences a fun experience

The title “Gunpowder Milkshake” makes sense, because like the cold drink, it’s an enjoyable summer treat.

Karen Gillan stars as Sam in “Milkshake,” a young woman who works as an assassin for a mysterious agency known only as The Firm. The agency is helmed by a man named Nathan (Paul Giamatti), who sends Sam out on her assignments.

While her latest mission seems straightforward, though, it turns out to be anything but. Caught in a conflict between two violent faction related to Sam’s assignment is a young girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman). Sam decides to get involved and protect Emily, but it only complicates things as hitmen are sent after her. In response, she looks to get help from her past.

“Milkshake” is  a movie that certainly leans more toward style than substance. The colorization, lighting and camerawork is all done in a way to make a vibrant, eye-catching action flick.

The film has a major neon, synthwave aesthetic as a backdrop to over-the-top, wildly fun action. It’s eye-candy cinema, with everything made to pop off the screen and excite the viewer.

Visually, and audibly for that matter, the movie is an action pleaser. However, as previously stated, not as substantive as one would like.

The story featured is a rather simple one, which can be fine for an action picture. And in all fairness, the story featured in “Milkshake” is serviceable.

Courtesy Netflix.

There’s a feeling, though, that the pacing could have been slowed down a bit to give the film more time to breathe. Some more depth could’ve elevated this film to a much higher status.

The same can be said about the writing. Some of the characters come across as a bit under-written and the dialogue sometimes sacrifices personality for snappiness.

Fortunately, not only is there enough humor in the writing to keep an audience in a fun mood, the cast was also well assembled. Karen Gillan for example, is a very capable lead.

Sam is a confident, smart woman who takes charge when she needs to. Gillan gets this character right and has the screen presence to be a likable action protagonist.

The cast is well rounded, too, with several great veteran performers, including Angela Bassett, Paul Giamatti, Lena Headey and Michelle Yeoh.

Thanks to its talented cast, stylish visuals and a lot of fun action, “Milkshake” earns a winning score. But it is certainly held back by not having a richer story. 3.25 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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