There are very few times in films where I become bored to the point of leaving. Only very few circumstances come to mind. For instance, Terrance Mallick’s horrendous film Song to Song at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2017 comes to mind immediately as something I wanted to escape from.
Unfortunately, Reed Morano’s adapted assassin flick, The Rhythm section gets to join the ranks as the first film of 2020 that made me want to get up and leave. I couldn’t, though. I don’t believe in walking out as much as my body, brain and all other instincts tell me not to. I hate to miss things, and there’s always a chance it can turn around, it’s just sad that it never does.
A bit of background on this film, it is produced by Eon Productions, the people behind the James Bond movies. A producer like that is the kind that gives you hope for a film with this kind of subject. Blake Lively’s character wishes to seek revenge and find out who and why her family died in a plane crash, she is trained up by Jude Law to do so, and maybe she does.
That is the entire plot summed up. You’d think maybe I was holding stuff back for spoilerific reasons but no. There is not a lot going on here as much as the film wants you to believe it’s intelligent and intriguing. So, the Bond connection did give me a lot of hope, especially when you looked at the trailers. I wanted to enjoy it so bad, but I had significant issues getting involved and invested. This is entirely down to it being paper thin and dull.
Barbara Broccoli has stated that she could see this becoming a sort of franchise with a female action star, spy/assassin. This is an idea I’m down for but not if this is the kind of output we’d be getting from the series. I would be down for the idea of Blake Lively in the lead role as she does give it her all and you can tell that she genuinely cares about the character.
Her performance is pretty much transformative at the beginning of the film as a defeated and depressed drug addict. Each kill she does and each moral dilemma she has is brilliantly portrayed. I would go as far as to say that she is probably the movie’s only saving grace.
The rest of the cast is questionable. I have issues with Jude Law being ex-MI6 because I don’t see him as this incredible action man, this is probably down to the film as well. He sorts of appears without any build-up and trains Blake Lively, leaves, and that’s kind of the end of him beyond a couple of appearances to help kill people.
The film does kind of kick into gear towards the end, but by that point, it was far too late for me even to care. I wanted out and was wishing it to end so by the time it tries to kick into gear with a couple of assassinations and a bus explosion. My eyes were rolling.
It is a shame. My hopes were very high, and I had heard some semi-decent things about it from some people, but the film did not work for me beyond Blake Lively’s performance. I put this down to its paper-thin plot and the lack of likeable and interesting characters. There is next to no imaginative action for a film of this genre either which is a crying shame. I am down for more films of this type, but let’s think a bit more out of the box next time.
The Rhythm Section is in UK cinemas now