‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ Review: The Ladies Who Punch
At one point in “Gunpowder Milkshake,” Navot Papushado’s slick, homage-heavy Netflix crime picture, Michelle Yeoh has a raucous fist fight with a Russian mobster that culminates in her strangling him to death with a length of steel chain. Now, this is important information, because Yeoh is one of the greatest screen martial artists of all time and, now at 58, is rarely afforded opportunities to pummel bad guys with gratuitous flair. Papushado lets her wreak carnage — alongside the great Angela Bassett, who wields a pair of claw hammers — and for that we can be grateful.
I would have liked to have seen an entire movie about Yeoh and Bassett, who play the Librarians, assassins who operate a space that serves as both a sanctuary and an armory for others in the profession. The two are infinitely more interesting than the actual hero of the film, a young assassin named Sam (Karen Gillan) who finds herself embroiled in an elaborate kidnapping plot that involves a shadowy underground crime syndicate known as the Firm. Gillan, blithely quipping as she dispatches waves of anonymous henchmen, seems totally flat in comparison to the magnetic stars with whom she shares the screen.