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58. The Rhythm Section; movie review

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Title : 58. The Rhythm Section; movie review
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Cert 15
109 mins
BBFC advice: Contains strong language, violence, brief drug misuse

Another day, another cinema - this time the Cineworld at Birmingham's National Exhibition centre ahead of my football team's FA Cup replay.
Midweek afternoon movie-viewing is nice because so few people are in the auditorium that it becomes a much more immersive experience.
Sadly, however, this was rather wasted on this disjointed and baffling thriller.
I had seen little publicity surrounding The Rhythm Section and I can now understand why it has been kept off the radar.
Blake Lively stars as a British woman whose life has fallen apart after the death of her entire family on a plane.
Prostitution feeds her drug addiction but she is dragged out of her self-induced haze by the questions of an investigative journalist (Raza Jaffrey).
He says he has evidence that the bombing of the aircraft has been covered up and that leads her to attempt to confront those he deemed responsible.
En route, she meets a former MI6 agent (Jude Law) who begrudgingly gives her the connections and prepares her for the dangers she will face.
And that, my friends, is where Reed Morano's film diverts into the land of total fantasy.
First of all, it passes off rehabilitation from drug addiction as if it is akin to a 14-year-old smoking a cigarette and deciding they don't want another one because it makes them feel sick.
Suddenly, Lively's character, Stephanie has the focus levels of a fighter pilot.
Oh, and she can suddenly handle herself physically against all-comers.  Even after Law's battle-weary agent proves that, even with expert training, she won't be ready to fight bad guys until "decades after her menopause."
And that is the problem with The Rhythm Section - every obstacle is cleared way too easily and even twist is obvious minutes before it happens.
In addition, characters are introduced and then disappear with such rapidity it is difficult to get a foothold in the movie let alone empathise with Stephanie.
Indeed, the essence of its failing is that I should have been rooting for this poor woman but I wasn't.
Instead, this just felt like a ticked-off film which I shall scarcely remember past the weekend.

Reasons to watch: Promising premise for a thriller
Reasons to avoid: Confusing and unrealistic

Laughs: None
Jumps: One
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 4.5/10

Did you know? In a game of Fact or Fiction with Michael Kors, Blake Lively told him that her first kiss was on camera, in a movie at the age of 16.

The final word. Reed Morano: "I just thought, when I read it, this is an opportunity to see the embodiment of what a woman in an action film, what I've always wanted to see but I've never seen; not sexualized, but practical, realistic, grounded, raw, gritty, messy. It doesn't all go right." Screen Rant

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