The Rhythm Section is One of The Grittiest & Most Realistic Assassin Films in Years (Blu-ray Review)

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THE RHYTHM SECTION arrives on Digital April 14 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack April 28 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Here is my review of the blu-ray:

From the producers of the James Bond franchise and Emmy®-winning** director Reed Morano (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), THE RHYTHM SECTION stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a woman on a path of self-destruction after her family is tragically killed in a plane crash. When she discovers the wreck was no accident, Stephanie enters the dark, complex world of international espionage seeking vengeance. Her search leads to Iain Boyd (Jude Law), a former MI6 agent who trains her to hunt down those responsible. With nothing left to lose, Stephanie transforms from victim to assassin and discovers that neither revenge nor the truth are what they appear.


Review

The Rhythm Section might be the most realistic and gritty assassin film I’ve ever seen. If you thought The Professional was dark and unnerving, you haven’t watched Reed Morano’s dark and unsettling tale of vengeance. Blake Lively stars as a young woman who spends her days being what appears to not only be a hooker, but a professional punching bag to the lowest of society’s scum. Her family was killed in a plane crash, which apparently sent her down a spiral to prostitution-town until someone walks into her super gross office and tells her that the crash wasn’t an accident. She then decides to seek vengeance and winds up being mentored by a former M16 agent (Jude Law) who introduces her into the business of hired assassinations.

Look… The story here is insane. How this young woman goes from being a trainwreck sex worker to a deadly killer is some of the most jarring story you’ll see in 2020, but under Morano’s direction The Rhythm Section does come off as being believable in spite of its ridiculous premise. The movie takes its time getting to the action, but when it does kick off, it’s quite spectacular and realistic in its approach. There’s a bus explosion near the end of the film that shook me because it didn’t look fake. Turns out it wasn’t – which you’ll see in the special features… Watch those if you can stomach the film, which I realize won’t be for everyone the more I write about it.

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Blake Lively and Jude Law are delivering some of their best work ever here but their riveting performances and fascinating characters also take a backseat to the ugly plotting and dry pacing of the film which tonally feels unbalanced and unrefined. In other words, The Rhythm Section can feel BORING and POINTLESS but there is payoff to the meandering plotlines which never feel like they are adding up until the very end. The conclusion is absolutely worth the journey, which may be taxing for viewers who need catchy soundtracks and montages to get their blood flowing. The premise would have best been served as a series on HBO or Showtime rather than a feature film because the scope is just too much to handle in 2 hours.

Special Features

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Stephanie’s Journey – Behind the scenes of Stephanie’s physical and emotional transformation
  • Fight Or Flight – Bringing the film’s stunts and fight sequences to life
  • Never Leave Second Gear – Creating the hyper-real car chase through Tangier
  • One Shot Explosion – Inside the film’s action-packed climax
  • Designing The Rhythm Section – See how filmmakers approached the look of the film

The one-shot explosion sequence is a must-watch and you should all watch it immediately after watching the film. It goes into detail as to how they pulled off the movie’s most breathtaking effect and as it turns out – THAT SHIT WAS REAL. AND REALLY DANGEROUS. Say what you will about the movie itself, as it does have some major flaws when it comes to pacing and tone, but the work that they did to pull it off was impressive. There are over 40 minutes of features included and I appreciated all of them, maybe even more than the film I just watched.

Rating: 3/5

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