I apologize if this review screams at you to not see this movie, but my job here is to tell you whether or not a movie is worth seeing, and that means not every review will radiate positivity.
So, here we go.
Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) directs The Rhythm Section with Blake Lively, starring as Stephanie Patrick, a British prostitute in Paris, who’s on a mission to avenge her family’s deaths. The film had the worst opening weekend of all time for a movie that was screened at 3,000 cinemas, making $2.8 million, according to Business Insider. The movie is on track to lose $30-$40 million for Paramount Studios. I think that people saw what was coming and realized the January film selection may not be worth seeing – and I don’t blame them.
This film is one of the most boring, predictable, and pointless movies I have seen in recent years. I can tell that the director, the cinematographer, the actors, and some of the crew really tried to make it work.
The main problem is Mark Burnell, the writer of both the source material and the film itself. Without a good script, it doesn’t matter how good everyone else is; a cracked foundation can’t hold a house up. His script lacks any intimacy or grace. It stumbles from scene to scene with little to no explanation of how an armed suspect is easily allowed on planes. You can’t bring a bottle of water through airport security without bringing the police down on yourself, but this woman with multiple firearms, who’s committed high-profile murders is allowed to walk free?
As I mentioned above, there are some redeeming qualities to this movie, even if they aren’t enough to save the film as a whole. The score is the best part of the movie, and was composed by Hans Zimmer, one of the best film artists living. He brings life into this corpse of a movie, which is quite possibly why it is called the rhythm section; the music is the only good part of the film. His music brings some fire to the passionless action sequences.
On the acting front, Blake Lively does a fantastic job with the abysmal script she has to work with. She powers through the wooden lines, the “emotional” scenes, and the stale action scenes that are supposed to thrill us. There is a scene where she goes into a freezing cold lake, in which you can see the pain and anguish from the character’s past wash away from her as she is reborn as a soulless assassin.
As I stated earlier, the writing is by far the worst part of this movie. The movie begins with an overwrought, falsely emotional scene that shows flashbacks of Stephanie with her parents as we learn about their deaths. It is extremely cliched, and doesn’t make me care about the character any more than I would have if the scene hadn’t existed at all. This is one of many alleged character building scenes that fly way over the audience’s head either because they are boring, pointless, or generic. In fact, the best written part of this movie is the backstory section, since when it gets into the action (if you can even call it that), it is absolute garbage.
The directing is no better either, as Reed Morano allowed this to actually be put out into theaters like this. Her action sequences are too flashy for anyone to see anything, her conversation scenes are knockoffs of other movies and don’t have any heart, and the overall layout of this story is so dull. This movie does nothing that other films haven’t done better. This movie has nothing that would ever make me go back. Even other bad movies like
The Fanatic, Jack and Jill, or Batman and Robin have something to go back to. Something that makes it really bad, but in a laughable way. The Rhythm Section has nothing like that because everything is reasonably done. Still, it is just so insipid and spiritless that I left the cinema feeling dirty and wish I could have gotten my money back. If you want to see a spy movie, just go and watch the Bourne Identity series instead.