The Rhythm Section – 5/10

Like the pilot episode of a TV series that wasn’t commissioned.

The two leads (Blake Lively, Jude Law) do a fair job with a bag of cliches stitched together into what seems a slightly credible picture of day-to-day spy-asset management.

The signposting of later events and ‘twists’ could only have been more obvious if there’s been a fourth-wall-break at each point. ‘Expect a reprise of this kitchen-based fight where the protagonist applies the lesson learned’, ‘look, deadly snake toxin in a syringe’ and so on.

Like many current ‘intelligence service’ like films this one features a lot of locations. Seems getting a reduced carbon footprint doesn’t apply if you’re on a mission for cold revenge. It also makes for lazy elision of events in the transition.

Despite the cold-turkey, the Rocky-style training events (though no montage-a missed cliche) the protagonist does not emerge totally awesome. Each mission/contract goes awry in a different way. I liked this. But a dash of realism on top of the rest can’t save this movie from being generally weak. Shame, as it had elements of several respectable movies in it.

Ignore it and hope no one tries to resurrect the idea for a one-season streaming series where U17 was only the front man for a deeper conspiracy that affects every subsequent contract Stephanie takes on.

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