Gunpowder Milkshake

While director Navot Papushado’s new Netflix summer streaming flick delivers numerous moments of action-packed fun, Gunpowder Milkshake never really seems to find its footing amongst the neon lights, guns, and moments of silliness that drive the female-led film.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m ALL FOR badass women leading the charge against the big-budget-baddies. From "The Bride" getting her long-awaited revenge in Kill Bill to Natasha Romanoff keeping the boys in line whilst helping prevents earth’s annihilation, I'm down for it.  Leia and Rey saving a galaxy far, far away?  Yes, please!  These women have power and strength in their blood and the audience can feel it.


"If you’re looking for a much-needed, mindless action-adventure for your weekend-matinee on the couch, then this is sure to hit the spot"

Unfortunately, this film’s stacked cast of strong female characters does not feel like they occupy their own universe. It feels like the writers took the likes of other established male-dominated movie universes and morphed it into a brightly-lit sub-par version just because they can.


The main character of Sam (Karen Gillan) has a demeanor and story that operates in a universe most-resembles that of the John Wick franchise. She’s a stone-cold, reserved assassin that gets herself on the bad side of the powerful crime syndicate she once worked for.  The Firm is none too happy about her choice either.  When she makes an emotionally-charged mistake and has to seek out help from figures of the past in a manner that utilizes vague dialogue in order to disguise the violent nature of underground network, you will feel the déjà vu hanging in the air.

The similarities are uncanny, and because of this, the film does not feel like it ever comes into its own.  It is rather an attempt to copy-cat familiar B-genre actioneers, filled with old and uncomfortable characters. For example, the stoic nature of Gillan’s Sam is unfitting for the actress and for the film itself. She never really seems to go all-out in the action nor does she ever really bust down her rough-exterior . . . even after filling previously-absent emotional voids. This is a disappointment when it comes to the development of character.Gunpowder Milkshake

The Russian villains in the flick come off as silly and incapable.  They are no threat. The gun-toting, underground “aunts” (Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh, and Angela Bassett) that Sam reaches out to never really have their time to shine, save for the climactic fight scene. The only characters that seemed to fit their roles were Sam’s estranged mom, Scarlett (Lena Headey) and eight-and-three-quarters-year-old Emily (Chloe Coleman). Headey delivers with quick-wit, confidence, and a believable longing to reconnect and rectify things with her daughter and her past. And Coleman does well as the bright and resourceful youngling that readily aids Sam in their journey.  

The one thing that film delivers strongly in is with the visuals. Those watching at home will love the expertly choreographed fights scenes, somewhat unorthodox car chase sequence, slo-mo gun fights, and some notable finishing kills that are sure to garner a few “Oh!” moments.  Gunpowder Milkshake also makes sure to display the clean and organized effort that is put into the world’s façade, usually paired with some neon-inspired backdrop of lighting. And I’m sure many film fans will catch some Edgar Wright-like shots sprinkled throughout.

Gunpowder Milkshake is far from perfect, but it cannot be denied that it IS a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a much-needed, mindless action-adventure for your weekend-matinee on the couch, then this is sure to hit the spot.

3/5 stars

Film Details

Gunpowder Milkshake

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout and language.
114 mins
: Navot Papushado
Navot PapushadoEhud Lavski
Karen Gillan; Lena Headey; Carla Gugino
: Action | Adventure

Memorable Movie Quote: "You are an incredibly impressive young woman. There's not a single person on earth that I'd rather kill people with."
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 14, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: In her turbulent life as a professional assassin, Scarlet was cruelly forced to abandon her daughter Sam and go on the run. Years later, despite the estrangement, Sam has also grown up into a cold blooded hitwoman. After a high-stake mission spinsout of control, putting an innocent 8-year-old girl in the middle of the gang war she has unleashed, Sam has no choice but togo rogue. This ultimately leads her back to her mother and her former hitwomen sidekicks, who all join forces in an avengingwar against those who took everything from them.


Gunpowder Milkshake