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Gunpowder Milkshake 

click to enlarge KILLER ELITE Female assassin Sam (Karen Gillan, left) has to retrieve kidnaped Emily (Chloe Coleman), in the female-centric shoot-'em-up Gunpowder Milkshake on Netflix. - PHOTO COURTESY OF STUDIOCANAL AND THE PICTURE COMPANY
  • Photo Courtesy Of Studiocanal And The Picture Company
  • KILLER ELITE Female assassin Sam (Karen Gillan, left) has to retrieve kidnaped Emily (Chloe Coleman), in the female-centric shoot-'em-up Gunpowder Milkshake on Netflix.

What's it rated? R

When? 2021

Where's it showing? Netflix

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Co-writer and director Navot Papushado (Rabies, Big Bad Wolves) helms this action crime drama that's essentially a female John Wick. The story focuses on Sam (Karen Gillan), a female assassin who's assigned by her handler, Nathan (Paul Giamatti), to retrieve some stolen money. After that job goes awry, Nathan learns Sam also killed the son of a local gangster, and soon she has a target on her back.

While much of the action and combat lacks the bone-crushing intensity of the John Wick franchise, there's a bit of fun to be had in this stylized shoot-'em-up flick that features appearances by a number of badass female characters including Sam's estranged assassin mom (Lena Headey) and three of her former associates (Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett). All that female energy is a blast, but the story doesn't capitalize on it as a commentary on male fantasy violence, which is unfortunate.

As a pure adrenaline rush of action and mayhem, it falls snuggly into the Smokin' Aces (2006) and Shoot 'Em Up (2007) school of cartoon violence. There's also a little girl (Chloe Coleman) for Sam to take under her wing. It's fun but forgettable, but it's also free with your Netflix subscription. So if action is your cup of tea, it's worth a watch. (114 min.) Δ

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