Gunpowder Milkshake stars Karen Gillan as Sam, an assassin who works for a mysterious and powerful firm, having been left in their care after her assassin mother was forced to abandon her when she was 12. But when she gets too close to a particular case involving eight-year-old Emily (Chloe Coleman) and angers the wrong people, the full power of the firm turns against her, and Sam must fight to ensure that she and Emily survive.
It’s a straightforward story, and has definitely been done before, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in its solid execution. The scripting is generally competent, despite a few lines coming off as clunky, with some great comedic moments to balance out the violence. Occasionally, the writing comes close to touching on themes – such as motherhood or vengeance – but it falls short of actually exploring them.
The simple script could have let the film down, but the strength of its cast efficiently compensates for that. Karen Gillan is great in the leading role, playing the tough mercenary with a heart of gold well and salvaging the more awkward lines with her delivery. She also has great chemistry with Coleman, and, although more could have been done on the scripting side to enhance their relationship, the actresses manage to create an engaging dynamic almost independently of the writing.
Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino are also phenomenal as Sam’s fellow assassins, absolutely stealing the show in every scene they are in. It’s a shame that actresses of this calibre weren’t given more to do, but they nevertheless bring their A-game.
Where the film really excels is in its action. Gunpowder Milkshake’s story is entirely in service of its fight scenes, which are consistently creative and wonderfully energetic. The action balances violence and comedy perfectly, delivering a diverse and engaging array of gory delights, shot beautifully to really enhance every blow.
Anyone who watches Gunpowder Milkshake isn’t doing so for deep characters or complex storylines – they’re doing so to watch Karen Gillan, unhinged, dispatching of a seemingly infinite number of goons in increasingly violent and inventive ways. The film is made with this understanding in mind, and more than delivers with its fantastic action, making for a thoroughly entertaining ride that just manages to steer clear of being shallow on pure style.
Gunpowder Milkshake is released nationwide on 17th September 2021.
Watch the trailer for Gunpowder Milkshake here: