Jolt (R, 91 minutes) Directed by Tanya Wexler ****
He has played Ava Gardner, the hero of Shakespeare and the center of Pearl Harbor love triangle, but for a certain section of Kate Beckinsale’s fan base it always will be Underworld’s Selene.
Throughout five films in the cult fantasy series, the British actor showed off his action skills and his ability to put on tight-fitting costumes. Now, after a hiatus of five years, she has once again done more of the former and none of the latter in a role that makes her resolve in a very different way.
In Hysteria The new dark comedy thriller by director Tanya Wexler, now 47, is Lindy, a lounger with a “gift.” When people do bad things or just get angry, she responds with explosive, uncontrolled rage.
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It is understandable that some consider it more as a condition or a disorder. Her parents soon realized that Lindy could not live safely in the world and that the world was not safe from her. Military training did not help and stakeholders, attracted by its potential as a weapon, made it more angry and even more volatile.
With the help of psychiatrist Dr. Munchin (Stanley Tucci) and a bit of electroshock technology, Lindy has finally found a way to curb the worst of her impulses, though there are definitely still violent fantasies left.
It has even allowed her to try to start dating, even though her first dinner with accountant Justin (Jai Courtney) ends up puncturing a snobbish waitress in women’s dresses. To Lindy’s surprise, she not only accepts a second date, but seems puzzled when she reveals that she has “a few tics.” “Do you like turrets?” he asks. “It’s a little more intense,” he replies.
A night of passion ensues and Lindy is affected by Justin’s easy ways and desire to please her. But after 24 hours, police discover his body in a trash can: two bullets in the head. Not impressed with the police efforts to track down her killer and without losing the only person she had finally connected with, Lindy decides to take matters into her own hands.
“Some people cry, some people drink, some people write poetry. I hurt people, and I will use it to my advantage, ”he says.
Although not exactly original – Shake it is essentially a cross between John Wick, Deadpool i Handle – The juicy premise of debutant screenwriter Scott Wascha crackles at the hands of Wexler and Beckinsale.
The role really gives the latter a chance to let go, offering bland remarks and cynical comments with the same vigor and heartbreak as the copious fight scenes. A car chase that highlights Lindy’s inability to drive a manual vehicle is a cry, while a scene in a hospital nursery is not for the weak or easily offended. Then there is her lament for her deadly and ephemeral boyfriend. “I wanted to cook myself fish,” he opines.
For his part, Wexler maintains the thick, fast-paced action, ensuring no two fight scenes are alike, tying the tale with a thick streak of black humor and surrounding his star with a fantastic cast that also includes Laverne Cox, Bobby Cannavale, Susan Sarandon and David Bradley.
Narrower and certainly a little more effective than the recent film release Gunpowder smoothie, this is a much needed and refreshing Jolt for the increasingly tired Hollywood action movie genre.
Shake begins airing on Amazon Prime Video on July 23rd.