Hollywood is on the path to create the ultimate woman driven movie, with a woman not only directing it but the main character. And this is what the commercials are promoting The Rhythm Section as. Directed by Reed Morano, The Rhythm Section stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a young woman who is on a downward spiral after the death of her family. After a visit from a journalist, her life takes an unexpected turn and she goes on a journey to get revenge and to finally heal.
You’re another victim – you’re just not dead yetProctor
If we get past the weird accent that Blake Lively does as she portrays a 20 something woman from London, her character only has one mode – anger. The character isn’t very complex and while the movie does spend some time explaining why she has issues – but they don’t show much more than this side of the character. The movie would not pass the Bechdel test with flat characters that still have men driving their story and the whole of their lives.
But this isn’t the only place that The Rhythm Section falls apart. From the very beginning the timeline seems a bit loose with a time flash of eight months earlier, but including flash backs to three years before. The movie focuses a lot on flash backs, and slowly brings you through the story. At times it seems like it drudges on and while the story is a bit of an interesting take on a “spy movie” like the commercials promote it as – it doesn’t seem to keep your attention like you would hope or expect.
I don’t know if I can be who I was beforeStephanie
Is The Rhythm Section the movie about a woman persevering over all odds to heal herself? Not exactly. While she loses a lot and experiences tragedy, she makes the decision to take the path she does afterwards. With the new information she makes the decision to try to get revenge and while her new path is noble and will put her on the path of healing (at least physically), she is still allowing others to control her life and her narrative. It is obvious throughout the movie that she is still being used by the men in her life to get what they want.
So as far as a girl power movie, and a women led spy film – The Rhythm Section drops the ball on many fronts. With a predictable story, the viewer feels left unsatisfied when the movie ends since the story ends up being a messy hit list with no satisfactory ending. Yes, there are some great action shots and explosions but the majority of the fights include Stephanie being thrown around for effect and slammed against the walls – showing just how frail she is and how this fight isn’t one she, a smaller woman, could ever win. Trying to drive home that the whole plot is one to keep her weak woman facade at the forefront as a driver for the story. We had hoped The Rhythm Section would be a stronger movie for women, but left the theater being let down.
ABOUT THE RHYTHM SECTION:
Blake Lively stars as Stephanie Patrick, an ordinary woman on a path of self-destruction after her family is tragically killed in a plane crash. When Stephanie discovers that the crash was not an accident, she enters a dark, complex world to seek revenge on those responsible and find her own redemption. Starring Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown. Directed by Reed Morano. (PARAMOUNT PICTURES)
This film is rated R.