Why ‘The Rhythm Section’ Bombed

[This story contains spoilers for The Rhythm Section.]

When Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) meets former MI6 agent B (Jude Law), the man who will lead her to the terrorists who killed her family, she is bruised, beaten, and in rehab for drugs. drug. She’s a mess, like a walking victim, who will be moved to a brief supporting role in several other spy movies before being brutally killed, prompting the former spy to return. act on the evidence she left behind. We have seen this before. B even pointed it out to Stephanie, saying, “You are not a tragedy. You are a damn cliché. These words force her to act but never magically transform her into an action hero. We’re not looking at a character who trained from a young age to be a spy, and Stephanie Patrick is not the next Jason Bourne or Natasha Romanoff. Even after cleaning herself up and learning a few skills, Stephanie was still a mess: someone ill-equipped for the world of assassination, dirty money, and the web of lies she found herself. And that’s what makes her so engaging and fun to watch.

Director Reed Morano isn’t interested in delivering what we’ve seen before, or achieving the laid-back rhythm of what has come to define spy action movies. Rhythm partwritten by Mark Burnell, who also penned the novel of the same name, has completed a new series of spy movies for Paramount and EON Productions, the producers behind the enduring Mission Impossible and the James Bond series, respectively. With three other books in the series, a modest $50 million production budget, a stellar performance by Lively and the woman in the director’s chair, Rhythm part seems like the perfect opportunity for those who have been making noise for the past few years about the next Bond being a woman and calling for new heroines unrelated to the comic book IP.

However, the critical score for the film on Rotten Tomatoes is at 32 percent and it grossed $2.8 million from its opening weekend. The film did not receive critical acclaim nor received support from the box office audience. But both remind them that much as critics and audiences tend to want stories that are fresh and break the rules, they seem to reject films that do so with insignificant frequency. alarm.

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We expect the spy movie to be sleek and sexy, packed with gadgets, physics-defying car chases, expertly choreographed combat, and plenty of sex appeal. as much as can be put into a PG-13 movie. The genre is usually male-dominated, and even female-led films La Femme Nikita (1990), Long kiss good night (1996), Salt (2010) and Atomic Blonde (2017) are usually only confirmed by their sharing with James Bond, Ethan Hunt, Jason Bourne, and John Wick. One of the most common criticisms of Rhythm part is its tempo, quite deliberately, following its own rhythm. As often as Hollywood spy movies are dominated by fast-paced sequences that pardon long hours with carefully structured action sequences and settings, the genre is like as defined by former MI6 and Night manager author John le Carre and his psychologically and morally ambiguous protagonists represent Ian Fleming’s flamboyant desire for 007. Rhythm part more concerned with Stephanie’s inner struggles and morals than positioning her as a good-natured villain.

Familiar elements of spy movies are introduced in the film and then revealed. Stephanie’s training gets her just enough to get through, and her fighting skills are unrefined and ugly. Her arsenal is simple, with nothing more luxurious than a disorienting inhaler and a knife disguised as a hairbrush, both of which are not used properly. . Her sex appeal is used as a means of exchange, nothing sexier than her former life as a prostitute. And the movie’s car chase is one of those chases that cause heavy damage, close calls, and no smooth turns in sight. Even Stephanie’s missions are largely incidents where she barely survives. There’s nothing slick or catchy about the spy game in Rhythm section; Every aspect of Stephanie’s quest shows how harsh and brutal the profession is. While the moral complexity, pacing, and R-rating put Morano’s film in dialogue with another unjustly dismissed spy movie, Red sparrow (2018), Stephanie’s quests and skill sets are even more glamor than the world of that movie. Rhythm part to be Green Ruin spy movies. Jeremy Saulnier’s film cuts revenge drama to the bone, providing insight into how difficult it is to get revenge, as well as how much effort, time and evil it takes to kill a man. he. Rhythm section, in deconstructing the spy drama, exists in a similar headspace, one that promises no glory, satisfaction, or heroism, but only hurt.

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Producer Barbra Broccoli, along with his brother Michael G. Wilson, has been with the Bond franchise all his life. Her father, Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, was the man responsible for bringing Bond to the screen with Doctor no? (In 1962). All of this to say that she understands the character better than anyone, and the espionage genre is ingrained in her blood. When asked about the possibility of a female Bond in October 2018, Broccoli said, “He’s a male character. He’s written as male, and I think he’ll probably stay as male. And that’s good. We don’t necessarily make the male character a female. Let’s just make more female characters and make the story fit for those female characters. These remarks, naturally, caused some debate, but most agreed with Broccoli’s point. Yet here we are, over a year later, and we have our heroine, produced by Broccoli and Wilson in a movie that doesn’t position her as a Bond clone, but rather a character with his own company and unique window into the world of the M16, and who seems to care little.

Problem with Rhythm part quality, and although the reviews seemed too eager to get rid of what was at hand, many films overcame tomato segregation to become box office success stories. While the movie beats to the beat of its own drum, it is hampered by the same problem that happened Long kiss good night, Salt, Atomic Blondeand Red sparrow and stifle their franchise potential. None of these characters are based on popular IP or can be judged in the context of a beloved series. There is little doubt that Black Widow will be a success in May, as it has the Marvel Cinematic Universe behind it and is therefore the investment of critics and audiences. And if Bond turns out to be a woman in the future, there’s no doubt that despite the social media frenzy that happened before, everyone will see it. It’s even worth the bet if Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) or Nomi (Lashana Lynch) gets the following bonuses There’s no time to diethey will be much better than Rhythm part.

Inevitably, when a year ends and discussions about a Black Widow a sequel appeared, with the usual suspects complaining about the lack of new IPs, and as the search for Bond just started, and the thinking sections began to recommend the best actresses for the role. and when Hollywood sees no reason to green-light mid-budget action cinemas featuring women who aren’t based on comic book characters, think again. Rhythm partthink Red sparrowand think again Atomic Blonde. We notice a lack of enthusiasm for new characters and new perspectives each year, despite other suggestive buzz, and we’ll likely revisit that and find ourselves having the same discussion. this. Rhythm part left in the cold, and still, the beat goes on.

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