MOVIE REVIEW: “The Rhythm Section” stars Blake Lively (Gossip Girl [TV series], The Age of Adeline), Richard Brake (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Doom), Jude Law (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Captain Marvel), Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther, This is Us [TV series]), and Raza Jaffrey (Homeland [TV series], Code Black [TV series]). It is directed by Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale [TV series], I Think We’re Alone Now) and written by Mark Burnell (Remote Control). A broken woman (Lively) seeks revenge on the people who killed her parents in a plane crash.
What’s a proper definition that describes my experience with “The Rhythm Section”? Oof. Big oof. Good grief, could I have received a bigger tranquilizer? My grandma was watching this with me. She had no clue as to what was happening and proceeded to pass out around the fifty minute mark. I should have joined her. But no, I stuck around, leaning my head forward to pay attention to the ever-struggling plot thread this film tried to weave through. What’s it about? Well, just your simple femme fatale story, but stretched thin, presented on a dull platter of baby carrots and rice cakes (okay, I actually do like baby carrots). Don’t take my word for it, though. Take the many others, who have seemingly agreed this tale of a grieving woman turned assassin is not up to snuff. Poor Blake Lively. She actually did a decent job, considering the hollow script. Her character was empty, as was her mission, which was elongated to the point of exhaustion. Most times, I could not understand the meaning behind the plot developments. Lively is given an opportunity to avenge her parents who were killed in a plane accident, later revealed to be a terrorist plot. Why is she given this opportunity? I don’t know. She was a prostitute after all, living from one coke pouch after the other. The movie sets out to check off all the boxes necessary with a sub-genre like this one, but fails to make a compelling lead because their conflict is not engaging. We are shown flashbacks of her life with her family, though they are cliche (people smiling, no dialogue really), hardly giving us any real moments with her to understand Lively as a character pre-substance use. What’s she like on the drugs? A sobbing mess. She cries while we watch inaudible flashbacks. I would care if I hadn’t seen it a million times over in other films. There’s nothing for me to sink my teeth into with her role, as well as the others who were cast well. Jude Law is in this, as is Sterling K. Brown, but they couldn’t save the sinking ship. It was doomed by the ten minute mark, when I got the feeling I wouldn’t like the rest of the movie. By the end, I was proven right. It’s not like I was wishing for this to fail or wouldn’t give it the benefit of the doubt. I literally leaned forward so I could pay attention to all the droning dialogue that more so glazed over the necessary points of character and story rather than expounding on them. Everything was hands-off, and if I wasn’t paying enough attention, I would be completely lost. The cinematography is fine, and the actors try their best, but “The Rhythm Section” is ultimately a flop. To be honest, I was mainly invested in figuring out why they called it “The Rhythm Section.” When the credits rolled, I was lost. There was no sense of rhythm in this flick. It’s a huge misdirection; would make someone think it’s a film about a music library. I eventually looked it up and shrugged at the results. It basically referenced a moment in the film where our lead was steadying her heart rate to fire a gun. Did I hear them mention rhythm section? No. But maybe I missed it. Sure wish I missed out on this film, I’ll tell you that. FINAL SCORE: 40%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: