The Rhythm Section is a tale of revenge for Stephanie Patrick, played by Blake Lively, who I first came across in The Age Of Adaline, a tedious romantic borefest masquerading has having interesting time-bending elements that led me to wish I could get those two hours back.
Then, in 2016’s The Shallows, I was rooting for the shark. However, she did change my mind with A Simple Favour, which had neat twists and was a fantastic movie. So, things are on the up in my Blake-o-meter, these days.
Sadly, for Stephanie, things are on the down because three years ago, everyone else in her happy family were killed in a tragic plane crash accident, but now, she learns it wasn’t an accident. It was the actions of a bomber and he’s here in London.
As her journey takes her from London to Inverness, I was left wondering how long her iPhone battery will last on a single charge. However, she has bigger fish to fry since, along the way, she’ll meet journalist Keith Proctor (Raza Jaffrey) and the mysterious Iain Boyd (Jude Law), the latter of whom will train Stephanie to get her strength up to eventually confront the bomber, but he still doesn’t think she has a hope in hell of managing this.
The Rhythm Section starts to get a bit baggy in the second act, but does get back on track as we get to the top of the first hour, as Stephanie goes on a series of hits – and a bit of globetrotting – to exact revenge.
So, a woman being trained in the art of a hit? It’s not Nikita, and it’s a bit daft, but it’s worth watching and has a great car chase.
What I also learned afterwards is that given the training Ms Lively had had, the car chase wasn’t quite done all in one take, but it was made to look like it was. However, there’s a fight scene resulting in her punching someone in the chest, at which point she actually broke her hand and filming was suspended for a few months. Hence, it’s a good job that scene was not only all done in one take, but the FIRST take!
I was also left wondering if there’d be potential for a sequel, and it’d be worth checking out if they tightened things up a bit. However, while I did learn this was taken from the first of a series of books about Stephanie Patrick, the film’s release was delayed a number of times before being put out in January 2020, and Jan/Feb is often the dumper slot for films which are not in contention for an Oscar. As such, this did not do well on the big screen, so any potential sequel is unlikely – returning just $6m worldwide on a $50m budget, but I would encourage you to check it out. Sometimes, films can take on a second life later on and a sequel comes about that way.
Oh, and it’s also got flashback sequences, as Stephanie’s mum, from Matilda Ziegler, aka Donna from Eastenders in the ’80s! 🙂
There’s also some extras with this, but the way I saw them was in one go running 42:28, as opposed to separate sections, so take my timings as approximate. Naturally, don’t want these before the film, as they will contain spoilers:
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes (18:00): None of which need to be put back in, but they flesh out things a bit more, such as a couple of them which feature Daniel Mays as a rather nasty individual.
- Stephanie’s Journey (4:50): Part-making of, and part-centralising on the main character
- Fight or Flight (9:00): The training of an assassin.
- Never Leave Second Gear (6:05): The car chase scene.
- One Shot Explosion (2:05): This relates to a scene which I will not spoil here.
- Designing The Rhythm Section (2:25): Set design and location, such as the fact that Almares, Spain doubled for Tangier, and the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland doubled for Scotland.
You can also buy the book on which this film is based.
Running time: 109 minutes
Released: April 13th 2020
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Widescreen: 2.39:1 (Anamorphic Hawk Scope, Anamorphic J-D-C Scope)
Director: Reed Morano
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G Wilson
Screenplay: Mark Burnell
Music: Steve Mazzaro
Stephanie Patrick: Blake Lively
Iain Boyd: Jude Law
Keith Proctor: Raza Jaffrey
Dean West: Daniel Mays
Laura Fuller: Jade Anouka
Mark Serra: Sterling K Brown
Leon Giler: Max Casella
Lehmans: Richard Brake
Sarah Patrick: Elly Curtis
David Patrick: David Duggan
Monica Patrick: Matilda Ziegler
Andrew Patrick: Bill O’Connell
Christopher Patrick: Shane Whisker
Errol: Robert Mullins
Oksana: Ivana Basic
Natalya: Irma Mali
Green: Geoff Bell
Lyle: Hugh Scully
Joan: Nuala Kelly
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.