Gunpowder Milkshake — neon-lit action that treads familiar ground

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Newsletter: FT Weekend

The ketchup-spattered Gunpowder Milkshake has no thought in its head but looking cool. Worse thoughts have occurred to a film, of course, even if the cool in question might best be called “preloved”. Mr Tarantino, grazie once more. Post-Kingsman cinema? Have we come to this already? Anyway: cue neon-lit action mayhem in diners and disused video stores, most of it involving a berserker woman in a satin bomber jacket. This is Sam (Karen Gillan), career assassin, first met while offing the son of a master criminal. Retribution beckons. A phone rings. A child’s handset, in the form of an anime panda.

Such is a recurring theme. Over here, the archly super-cute. Over there, a body count built on half-witty, ultra-violent arrangements of guns, knives, Tasers and tyre irons courtesy of writer-director Navot Papushado. The gender twist is the other big idea, Sam with a mother in the trade, an eight-year-old girl to safeguard and three starry spiritual godmothers (Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Carla Gugino). “Gender equality?” Yeoh asks. “How progressive.” The line hangs there in a movie not sure if it is actually feminist or if that was just something said in the pitch meeting. The saving grace is Gillan, a glint of murderous deadpan.

★★★☆☆

On Sky Cinema and in UK cinemas from September 17

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