The Rhythm Section is a 2020 action thriller based on a book of the same name written by Mark Burnell. Directed by Reed Moreno, it stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a young woman bent on revenge against the terrorists who orchestrated a plane crash that killed her entire family.
From the very beginning, you can see the influences and similarities in this to other films and stories.
This has obviously taken inspiration from the likes of John Le Carre and is a rather dark and gritty take on the action-thriller genre, with a decent amount of physical (and well-choreographed) violence. However, in all honesty, the originality here is severely lacking. I’ve seen countless revenge films and this is no different. There is little in this to make it stand out above all those that have come before it.
It doesn’t start off very well, as we find out about Stephanie’s life and how the death of her family turned her into a drug addict and a prostitute. It’s so clichéd that even Jude Law’s character Boyd mocks her for this later in the film, which whilst fun, doesn’t change the fact that they actually used this idea in the plot. There’s also the sketchy almost nonexistent reason for journalist Proctor (Raza Jeffrey) to reach out to Stephanie to tell her that the plane crash was caused by terrorists rather than an accident. It just doesn’t make any sense as to why he’d get Stephanie involved and the film doesn’t even try to explain this rationally. Same goes when Boyd takes in Stephanie and starts to train her as an assassin. Whilst a reason is eventually revealed, it isn’t entirely plausible and again doesn’t make any sense as to why he does this with a woman who has no background or knowledge in espionage or assassination.
Despite the sketchy plot, there are some plus points. Blake Lively performs well (despite the often hideous wigs), and the scenes featuring her and Jude Law
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A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!