Available on Sky in the UK, Netflix and the Cinema.
Navot Papushado’s writes and directs Gunpowder Milkshake. Karen Gillan is Sam, a “fixer” for The Firm, an underworld organisation operated by a board of powerful criminals. She was left in the care of The Firms head of HR, Nathan (Paul Giamatti), as a teenager by her mother Scarlet (Leena Headey). Her life is turned upside down by two incidents, firstly she kills the son of another powerful crime organisation. Then when retrieving The Firms money from an accountant who works on the “legal side” of the organisation, she accidently shoots him and learns that he has taken the money to save his kidnapped daughter, Emily (Chloe Coleman). Having injured him, Sam decides she’ll rescue her. When that goes wrong, she finds herself on her own, but with some help from her past, she heads out to do her own fixing.
That synopsis makes it sound like there’s a lot going on. However, the reality is there isn’t. What we have is a copy and paste from the John Wick storybook. Shadowy organisations, a network of assassin’s who operate in a parallel world, including “The library” where Sam heads for help and “the diner” a gun free safe haven. It has much of what makes John Wick work, a great look, from 50’s diner to 80’s neon. The comic book violence is suitably bloody and there’s plenty of original death’s and comedic gore to enjoy.
I’ll confess, that while this has had some mixed reviews and I get why, I rather enjoyed it.
The cast is solid, Gillan does her sullen anti-hero thing and the supporting characters are fun, especially the librarian’s Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino and Angela Bassett. Chloe Coleman provides a good foil as Sam’s conscience and driving force.
While I appreciate it won’t be for everyone, I enjoyed Gunpowder Milkshake. Yes it’s derivative and it’s all glossy surface, but it was a fun comic book, violent revenge, film. The cast are likeable and it doesn’t outstay its welcome. If you like a bit of John Wick, like me you’ll probably find stuff to enjoy here.