Title – The Rhythm Section (2020)
Director – Reed Morano (Meadowland)
Cast – Blake Lively, Jude Law, Sterling K. Brown
Plot – Stephanie Patrick (Lively) is haunted by the death of her entire family, death’s that she finds out were in fact because of an orchestrated attack. Upon finding out that information, Stephanie, with the help of the mysterious Iain Boyd (Law), sets out to seek revenge on those responsible.
“I’m here to offer you closure”
Review by Eddie on 21/05/2020
A lifeless and charmless affair, The Rhythm Section is deserving of its dubious honor of becoming the worst ever domestic opening box office performer in the USA for a film released in 3,000 theaters or more when it was unleashed earlier in 2020.
Garnering a total of just $2,715,384 when it opened on 3049 cinema screens, the long delayed project of director Reed Morano, its star Blake Lively and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson is a complete non-event, a film devoid of any type of redeeming features outside of a committed but misused performance of its leading lady, as Reed and her producer’s looked to make a Jason Bourne/James Bond female-centered hybrid, that instead becomes nothing but a waste of time, money and effort.
Based on author Mark Burnell’s book series, Section follows down on her luck drug addled and depressed Stepahnie Patrick, a woman haunted by the tragic death of her family, who finds redemption in the thought and process of enacting out revenge on those she finds out are responsible for her families demise, in what she finds out was a hidden terrorist attack.
Morano, who started her career as a cinematographer and clearly on evidence here not a storyteller, struggles to invest us into the plight of Patrick as Section fails to launch in its opening act, a struggle the film doesn’t recover from, not even when Jude Law shows up as a shady trainer tasked with getting Patrick into shape to become a one woman revenge machine or when Morano finally gets some action sequences going that throw Lively into the deep end with fist fights, training montages and one take car chases.
There’s not an ounce of emotional investment that is likely to be drawn out of viewers as the stories mysterious and totally unengaging plot rages on around Patrick, a plot that includes nefarious terrorists, Sterling K. Brown’s blank faced ex-government operator and Lively and Law going fisticuffs in a kitchen, and its likely that before the films 100 or so minute runtime peters out you will be wishing you never went on this revenge mission.
You can’t help but feel for Lively throughout all of this.
Trying her hardest to once and for all shake the Mrs. Ryan Reynolds tag and the stigma associated with her rise to fame in Gossip Girl, Lively goes all in physically and mentally here but her performance is let down by poor writing, shocking direction and a lack of character likability, making her committed turn one that was for naught in an experience that is deserving of its lack of notice in the film world.
Final Say –
Dull, boorish and without purpose, The Rhythm Section is an extremely poor attempt at launching a new thriller franchise, a franchise that is D.O.A here thanks to inexcusably bad direction and a lack of creativity and imagination.
1/2 an icy-cold swim out of 5