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"The Rhythm Section" Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

The Rhythm Section is one of those films that has a solid start but slowly slips downhill around midway and never really gets its footing again. That's a shame, too, because the film had a lot going for it. There's three fantastic main actors, a good story with some mystery and a few thrilling elements mixed into it, and a great underlying message that makes you want to see more. But what ultimately plagues the film is the fact that it starts trying to take on more than it can support and the unraveling begins.

The film follows Stephanie, a young woman whose family was tragically killed in an airplane explosion. She falls into a deep depression and resorts to drug use and prostitution as coping mechanisms. Three years later, a reporter tracks her down and tells her that he's discovered there was a bomb on the airplane and that the explosion wasn't an accident like the media claimed. Stephanie has a moment of self-realization and begins training in order to track down the people responsible.

What I loved most was the message the film presented. When you set out on a path of revenge, you don't feel better and you can't make the situation better. You ultimately end up causing more damage not only to yourself but to the people around you. It's hard to forgive and to forget and it's hard to accept your loss and move on with your life. Our base instinct sets in and all we want is to find a way to channel and deal with our grief. We often want revenge, we want the person who hurt us to hurt in return, to know what it feels like to be in grieving pain. But, in the end, what's that really going to solve? Stephanie's story is one we can all learn from and have good debates about.

Blake Lively was brilliant as Stephanie. She was able to keep up the London accent, perform her stunts, and made us feel sorry for her. She and Jude Law had wonderful chemistry together. Jude played B, one of those characters that you hate and love at the same time but also don't fully trust either. Sterling K. Brown was probably the only one in the film who wasn't that impressive, mainly because it seems like he's always playing the same character whether it be The Rhythm Section or This Is Us.

The only problem I had with the film was how, around the mid-section, it seemed to slowly forget what its own plot was and tried to become something of a Bourne film rather than a simple revenge tale. B turned Stephanie into an amateur assassin and she began pulling off hits for him. Yes, the hits were related to the people who took down the plane but the links were somewhat thin. It's like the writers tried to make Stephanie the next Bond but then the ending undoes everything they tried to establish. She became something she absolutely wasn't. I wish they had focused more on her emotion and how she was mentally handling her path of revenge instead of forcing her to become cold-blooded because frankly that's not realistic. In reality, she'd be a puddle of a mess on the floor every night because, even though she's angry that her family's gone, she couldn't bring herself to take another person's life. Or maybe I'm just writing my own ending. You decide.

In conclusion, I did enjoy the film for what it was and I'd see it again. There were some excellent performances and it had a good story. I would, however, liked to have seen some of the more unexplored aspects that didn't make it to the screen. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.

© 2020 Nathan Jasper


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