When this film first hit Netflix recently, I was so excited to see an almost entirely female cast, especially a set of middle-aged Hollywood women, a subset so often underused in action films. Sadly, the film did not live up to my expectations, but I can’t say I hated it either.
Hollywood has long had an issue casting women of a certain age to play age-appropriate roles. Whether pushing barely 40-year old actresses into grandmother roles or 30-year-olds as the moms of college kids, as if actresses cease to exist after 50. But this film had Michelle Yeoh (59), Carla Gugino (50 later this month), and Angela Bassett (63 later this month) all on the bill! WOW! And yet, it still fell into the all-too-common trope of having an actress playing the mom of someone 14 years younger than them, Lena Headey (47) and Karen Gillan (33), respectively.
You see, I love both Lena Heady and Karen Gillan, who are the main leads of GUNPOWERDER MILKSHAKE. And I love Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, and Carla Gugino. This film felt like it was made just for me! But beyond these ass-kicking women, there’s not much else. The story is weak, the dialogue clunky, and even much of the action scenes feel like they were miscued outtakes from Atomic Blonde or John Wick.
Sure it’s still worth watching when you’ve got some time. The filmmakers tried, and there is definitely talent here are outside of the amazing cast. Writer/director Navot Papushado accomplished bringing together Karen, Gillan, Angela, Lena, Michelle, and Carla -all of whom brought their A-game. Hopefully, on his next outing, the story meets the excellence of the talent.
GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE is now streaming on Netflix.