Imagine that John Wick and a stick of bubblegum had a baby, and then paid one of the designers from Fallout to design the nursery. That’s the feeling I got watching Gunpowder Milkshake.
Right from the beginning, the movie has a few things going for it. It’s got Karen Gillan playing the lead, a lead who is a very competent assassin, a nefarious underworld with its own rules and an impressive amount of infrastructure, and a delightfully nostalgic pastel aesthetic.
Did I love this movie? I don’t think so. But I did like it.
Unlike John Wick, Karen Gillan’s character isn’t a retired killer, she is very much still active in the industry as she follows in the footsteps of her estranged mother, who disappeared from her life some fifteen years before. Her life as an emotionally distant killer comes to an end when her employer, The Firm, sends her to recover a horde of stolen money and discovered that the accountant that stole the money did so to pay the ransom for his kidnapped daughter.
This revelation immediately brings her back to a childhood of feeling alone and abandoned. Her decision to save the girls brings down the wrath of her former employees and sets her on a path to reconnect with the people who influenced her childhood, and reconnect with her mother.
Overall I found it to be an entertaining movie. Sometimes it’s nice to watch a protagonist carve a bloody path through a crowd of faceless thugs. I really liked the set designs and color choices but I do wish that the world felt a little bigger. Most of the sets, while visually appealing, show us few hints of the city around them. I also wish that we had gotten to learn a bit more about the Library, where weapons can be found hidden inside thematically linked books on the library shelves. With how important the librarians were to the movie and to the protagonist’s backstory I wish we had gotten just a few minutes more exposition.
Overall I would give it a 3/5 or maybe a 2.5/5. I’m not sure. It’s an entertaining movie that doesn’t demand a lot of thought from the audience, but I can’t help but feel like it could have been more. If you watched the movie drop a comment and let me know what you think.