What do you get when you mix Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett together? Gunpowder Milkshake.
Written and directed by Navot Papushado, Gunpowder Milkshake is a hyper-violent, hilarious action thriller which follows Sam (Gillian), a hired assassin who quickly becomes ‘collateral damage’ after only following her employer’s directive. Suddenly finding herself with the responsibility to keep a young girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman) safe, as well as being unexpectedly reunited with her former guardians and her 15-year estranged mother Scarlet (Lena Headey), it is clear that Sam is having a hell of a day.
Five fierce fighting females kicking ass? Honestly, what’s not to love? While Gunpower Milkshake is full of action-packed scenes and impressively choreographed fight sequences that are reminiscent to the likes of John Wick, Gunpowder Milkshake is by no means merely a ‘pop-corn flick’. The neo-noir film has a decent and consistent plot with enough excitement and depth to never lose your attention. It marries perfectly with the colourful visuals and energetic compositions of both Cinematographer Michael Seresin and Composer Frank Ilfman.
The talent on-screen, however, is what pushes Gunpowder Milkshake successfully across the line. With a decorated cast of strong feisty women, their powers combined do not disappoint. I have been a fan of Michelle Yeoh for a long time (also Malaysian-Chinese, myself), and although she wasn’t on-screen for as long as I would have liked, every time when she was, she stole the scene. Angela Bassett is intimidating, commanding and super cool as Anna May (not going to lie, I really thought they were saying ‘anime’ the whole time), and you can’t help but love Carla Gugino as Madeline, as well as her super-cute fashion sense, I want her caridgan! Chloe Coleman who plays young Emily was a happy surprise, despite being so young, she showcased a maturity beyond her years both with her character and as an actor. I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for her future film endeavours.
Karen Gillan is perfect as Sam, a no-nonsense, ‘ask questions later’ gun-totting mistress with a heart. She sees herself in Emily, and while it’s no surprise with the decisions that she makes, but it’s an exhilarating ride for audiences, nonetheless. The chemistry between mother and daughter, Scarlet and Sam played by both Headey and Gillan appears very natural, believable and is endearingly entertaining to watch, whenever they make their exchanges. It felt very familiar and reminded me of the many silly and nonsensical exchanges I’ve had with my own mum.
Did I mention that the film is also incredibly stylish? From the retro diner to the rainbow-lit bowling alley, the clinically white ‘hospital’ to the beauty of ‘the library’, right down to Sam’s orange jacket, Gunpowder Milkshake is as aesthetically pleasing, as it is fun. The world built within Gunpowder Milkshake is dangerous, fascinating and I admit I would love to visit a library similar to the one displayed in the film, even if it isn’t exactly like how the film intends in real life, my curiosity has now been piqued.
Although the action and thrills of Gunpower Milkshake will be enough to quench your thirst, you will want more of Gunpowder Milkshake, even when the credits start to roll. Fear not, a sequel has already been greenlit and is in the works! So, if you’re going to get into an epic film saga filled-with spirit, style and spunk, Gunpowder Milkshake is highly recommended, and is an all-girl, gunslinging hell of a good time.