Blake Lively and Jude Law star in what audiences expect to be a thrilling story of a woman who has lost her way and turned to violence. Unfortunately, a movie revolved around a spy on a revenge mission is nothing new.
“The Rhythm Section,” which premiered this Thursday, begins with the future of the movie, then moves into the past. We learn that the protagonist is a British woman named Stephanie, who is clearly struggling in life.
Stephanie’s family (her parents and two siblings) were killed in a plane crash, which was thought to be the result of a technological malfunction. However, when she meets a journalist, he informs her that it was actually a deliberate job. Soon after, the journalist is murdered, and Stephanie takes it upon herself to find the bombers.
The film itself moves slowly. There is not much action or violence until the second half of the movie, which makes it difficult for viewers to stay connected to the plot, especially because of its predictability.
In addition, there is always background music or ambient noise, but there is very little dialogue compared to most action movies. For Stephanie’s character more than any other, there isn’t much room for her to speak.
When she does speak, she has an accent. Of course, Blake Lively is not British, so this accent is not natural to her, and it translates poorly in the film. It seems unnecessary, because the plot could have easily been centered around Stephanie working for the CIA or another American organization, in which case an accent wouldn’t be involved.
On her journey to find the bombers, Stephanie meets an unnamed ex-MI6 agent, played by Jude Law, who gets her in shape and teaches her how to fight.
As the film continues, she meets Sterling K. Brown’s character, an unnamed ex-CIA agent who she trusts and spends time with after leaving Jude Law’s character and completing other jobs.
During this part of the film, there are landscape shots depicting rolling green hills, lakes and the streets of Morocco. While these views are definitely a place of strength for the film, it’s hard to justify its weaknesses in place of them.
Brown’s character tells her who the bomber is, and she travels to find him and kill him. Once she does, she realizes that she’s been misled, and that the real villain responsible for her family’s deaths is the ex-CIA agent himself.
Of course, the film ends with his death and her victoriously walking through the streets after another run-in with Law’s character.
Overall, the film was disappointing. It was too predictable and did not have as much action spread throughout as audiences were expecting. The lack of dialogue and emotion present made it hard to connect to the characters as if they were real people, so it was difficult to stay engaged with the film.
However, Lively’s performance as Stephanie was something new for her, a darker and more mysterious character than she’s played before. While the film itself was a bit of a letdown, it was refreshing to see Lively so convincing in this role and definitely impressive for her reputation as an actress.