Jolt (2021)

Posted in Reviews by - July 31, 2021
Jolt (2021)

Kate Beckinsale makes a welcome return to trashy action movies – and for Millennium Films, no less, master purveyors of B-grade, Bulgaria-based gut-punchers. With her glitzy look, shock of blonde hair and sardonic British bullishness, she cuts a distinctly different figure to that of Selene from her gothic Underworld movies. She plays Lindy, a highly volatile and dangerous orphan who quells her rage by being constantly strapped to a bodysuit which transmits an electric shock every time she feels the impulse to crack open some skulls. Her rage has really put an dampener on her social life, and following the advice of her doctor/therapist (the wonderful Stanley Tucci, phoning it in with complete professionalism), she starts dating, meeting and falling for the seemingly steady accountant, Justin (Jai Courtney). But then, Justin ends up in a body bag, and the cops on the case (Bobby Cannavale and Laverne Cox) have reason to believe that Lindy might be involved. “I hurt people, so I might as well put it to good use,” she says, as she jumps into investigating Justin’s death herself. It might not sound like it, but the film is actually quite funny. Beckinsale is great at delivering the zesty dialogue, particularly during the first act, when she is shown desperately resisting the urge to explode at the sort of irritating habits we see everyday: ‘manspreading’ on the metro; people who tap their pens; snarky waiters (she actually does go to town on the latter, smashing up the culprit in a bathroom cubicle). The conceit slightly falls apart when she goes on the rampage and the conditions of her supposed ‘disorder’ becomes more opaque. Aesthetically, the film takes its cues from the hyper-stylised alternate reality of Atomic Blonde, with Beckinsale channeling a Theron-esque glamour only without the moodiness. If anything, the film’s lack of pretension completely works in its favour, with a great cast adding to its breeziness. Despite being called Jolt, there’s nothing particularly shocking or electrifying about the film, but it’s not a complete waste of 90 minutes either.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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