'Gunpowder Milkshake': An escapist entertainer replete with whacky moments and eccentric characters

The USP of 'Gunpowder Milkshake' is Karen Gillian who brings her A-game to the action flick. Also, Headey, Yeoh, Gugino, and Bassett are all a treat to watch

'Gunpowder Milkshake': An escapist entertainer replete with whacky moments and eccentric characters
user

Murtaza Ali Khan

When the French filmmaker Luc Besson made La Femme Nikita (aka Nikita) three decades back it proved to be major success at the box-office, not just setting the trend for the 1990s but also the decades that followed. Nikita was remade as Black Cat the very next year before it was remade as Point of No Return in Hollywood in the year 1993.

Two television series have also been produced based on the film: La Femme Nikita (1997–2001) and Nikita (2010–2013). Besson’s magnum opus Léon: The Professional (1994) too bears some similarities to La Femme Nikita. And ever since Besson has been trying to remake Nikita at one level or the other—the closest being his 2019 film Anna. But it’s not just Besson. Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films too bear striking similarities to the story of Nikita. Brian de Palma’s 2002 film Femme Fatale too is difficult to imagine without a precursor like La Femme Nikita which has a strong precursor of its own in Japanese filmmaker Yuki Kashima’s 1973 film Lady Snowblood which is also said to have inspired Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park's “Lady Vengeance” films.

Now, the story of Nikita is pretty straightforward in essence. When a teen criminal is handed a life sentence for murdering policemen during an armed robbery, her government handlers fake her death and recruit her as a professional assassin. She starts a career as a hitwoman following her rigorous training but she struggles to balance her work with her personal life. Over the last three decades we have had countless films about female assassins: be it The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Wanted (2008), Haywire (2011), Colombiana (2011), Hanna (2011), Lucy (2017), Atomic Blonde (2017), or The Old Guard (2020).


Navot Papushado’s Gunpowder Milkshake is the latest film revolving around a female assassin. It tells the story of a Sam (essayed by Karen Gillian), a professional assassin, who must team up with her estranged assassin mother (portrayed by Lena Headey) and her former colleagues (played by Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino, and Angela Bassett) in order to save an 8-year-old girl (portrayed Chloe Coleman) from other assassins. This triggers a major gang war as all hell breaks loose.

Gunpowder Milkshake is essentially an escapist entertainer that’s replete with whacky moments and eccentric characters. Imagine a doctor who uses laughing gas to treat his patients or a sisterhood of assassins that runs a library supplying books with weapons hidden inside them. There is a certain air of cockiness about Karen Gillian’s portrayal of Sam. Her tall and lanky built makes here ideal for the part. The undercurrent of dark humor is highly reminiscent of films like John Wick and Atomic Blonde. But as good as the action scenes in Gunpowder Milkshake really are, they are nowhere near the brilliance of John Wick, Atomic Blonde or even Anna. The USP of Gunpowder Milkshake is Karen Gillian who brings her A-game to the action flick. Also, Headey, Yeoh, Gugino, and Bassett are all a treat to watch. It surely does look cool when a bunch of females beat up crooks and gangsters to a pulp. But there is little on offer that we haven’t already seen in countless other films.

Click here to join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines