Revenge is a brutal business…
The Rhythm Section quite simply just doesn’t have any because while there’s some genuine potential in the story, it’s such a slapped together and poorly directed mess that the only think you’ll be doing is scratching your head as to why you walked into the theatre in the first place.
Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) is an ordinary woman on a path of self-destruction after her family is tragically killed in a plane crash. When Stephanie discovers that the crash was not an accident, she enters a dark, complex world to seek revenge on those responsible and find her own redemption.
While there’s no doubt that everyone was trying their best on this one, The Rhythm Section crashes and burns with disjointed writing; which is a clear cut example of why the guy who writes the book should never write the screenplay and a chaotic direction style that tries to cover it all up.
Given the production delays on this due to Blake Lively busting her hand during shooting it’s understandable for The Rhythm Section to feel a little disjointed but this movie is such a grim mess that is so lousy with plot and logic holes that it’s a little insulting to watch. Writer Mark Burnell (who also wrote the book) should have been hands off as this film is glaring example of how truly difficult it can be transpose material across different mediums.
With director Reed Moreno at the helm and the iconic Barbara Broccoli (from the Bond franchise) at the helm, we see the effort in trying to subvert the spy thriller and give us a different angle (and even more feminine angle) on the well worn spy genre but it all feels so clumsy as huge gaps in logic and plot holes try to get glossed over with a lot of extreme close ups, panning cuts and forced angles in an attempt to make it all feel visually gritty when it’s just a cold and self indulgent pile of nonsense.
It’s hard to genuinely deny the star power of Blake Lively who carries the material as best she can but there’s just no gravitas or genuine emotion in anything that happens on the screen. It’s not her fault; we just aren’t really given a reason to care about her at any time in the movie. I want more female action heroes on my screen, but they deserve better character development then they got here while her faux English accent was barely there in the first place and certainly not needed because it just reminds the audience of what the film is getting wrong rather then what it is getting right.
Jude Law is barely around as her gruff mentor and Sterling K. Brown as an ex-CIA information dealer just came across as flat and one dimensional. This was a film that actually needed a couple more characters that we could care about, and we barely get one.
At the end of the day; The Rhythm Section needed to be more fleshed out with a less chaotic direction style and characters that we could get invested in. Instead we’re left out in the cold without the genuine promise that we could feel from the early trailers.