Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: A bouncer named Liddy has a slightly murderous anger-management problem. She controls her condition with the help of an electrode-lined vest which she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she’s ever fallen for is murdered she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.
Review: Is it weird to call an action movie “breezy”? Because that’s the word that kept coming to mind while watching Jolt, a movie I thought would be akin to Jason Statham’s Crank but instead felt like a romcom with people getting punched in the face.
Starring one of the few petite actresses out there that manage to play convincing badassess (Zoe Saldana and Gal Gadot also come to mind) Kate Beckinsale (the Underworld series/Van Helsing) plays Liddy, a woman who has struggled with a rare condition all her life that makes her extremely volatile. The annoying things you and I would put up with, like people who chew loudly or a rude waiter, sends her into a murderous rage and the only thing that helps is a device created by her sort-of-friend and psychiatrist Dr Munchin played by Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones and Spotlight) who is woefully underused here.
After Munchin encourages her to make human connections she decides to go on a blind date. At the date she meets Justin (Jai Courtney of Suicide Squad, Jack Reacher) who turns out to be charming, funny and—most importantly—unafraid of her condition. But what seems like the beginning of a beautiful love story is cut short when Justin is murdered. And Liddy being Liddy decides against the instructions of buddy cops Detective Vicars (Bobby Cannavale of Ant Man, Boardwalk Empire) and Detective Nevin (Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black) to go after those responsible for taking away her shot at happiness.
Sounds like a straightforward revenge action thriller, right? Well, director Tanya Wexler and her team take us in a somewhat different direction as the tone of Jolt is more comedic than you would expect. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I think most people coming into this are probably expecting to see Beckinsale all serious and badass like her Selene persona in Underworld. Instead, she’s a woman who just wants to be normal but who also tells it like it is, has a sharp and cynical sense of humour, and who’s capable of beating you to death with a shoe if she has to.
Once I let go of my preconceived notions, I actually enjoyed the lighter tone of Jolt. Jai Courtney and Kate Beckinsale have great on-screen chemistry together, which makes it a little easier to believe she would go all vigilante-style to solve the murder of a man she had only been on two dates with. Solid chemistry and easy camaraderie also extends to Cannavale, Cox and Tucci as well. It must’ve been fun behind the scenes of this film because everyone seemed very relaxed with each other and their roles, which went a long way in making the movie enjoyable.
The action sequences aren’t anything to write home about though. They’re fine and all but none of them stood out or made me sit up and go “Wow!” Considering this is supposed to be someone whose anger makes them go off the rails I was expecting a lot more (again, Crank comes to mind). But what we get here is the same level of stuff you would see on television.
Overall though, Jolt is an easy, breezy action comedy that’s enjoyable due to its performances. The action is serviceable but not memorable and the ending sets us up for a sequel that hopefully packs a bit more punch. If you’re looking for something light to pass the time this film will be just the jolt you need.
Sommer’s Score: 6 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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