Intermittent Explosive Disorder. It’s an unstable condition Lindy Lewis has lived with her entire life where the little annoyance can set her into a murderous rage. High levels of cortisone give her extra stamina, increased strength, and an endless stream of undaunted courage. Mix all of that with her antisocial behavior and a variety of special, military grade, skillsets, Lindy can be one of the most deadliest humans if you happen to piss her off. To control her temperament, an unorthodox psychiatrist designs an self-inducing electroshock harness that provides Lindy at jolt of electricity to snap her out of a potential bloodthirsty rampage, but when she finally finds a man pleasing in every way , a man who can keep the volatile emotions at bay, his sudden murder sends her into a vindictive slaughter of anyone involved with his death.
“Shoot’em Up” meets “Crank” in Tanya Wexler’s unbridled tempest, “Jolt, that features an eclectically (and electrifying) international cast dropped into a graphic novel noir of femme fatales and organized crime. The “Relative Evil,” aka “Ball in the House,” Wexler directs the 2021 released revenge narrative from a vivacious script penned by Scott Wascha as the writer’s debut feature length credit. Filmed oversees in Bulgaria, “Jolt” is a melting pot of explosions, street fighting, and Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn under the production banner of Avi Lerner’s typically entertaining, yet hit-or-miss Millennium Films in collaboration with Busted Shark Productions, Eclectic Pictures, Nu Boyana Film Studios, and the “2001 Maniacs” series’ Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman company, Campbell-Grobman Films.
As if she never stopped playing the sleek vampiric werewolf huntress, Selene, of the “Underworld” franchise, Kate Beckinsale is stunning. And I don’t just mean her timeless and ageless beauty as the English actress, who is living her best life at the latter half of her 40’s, proves that age is just a number in executing a physically demanding role with nearly every scene involving stunt work. Unlike the gun-toting Selene, Lindy Lewis prefers her bareknuckle combat and a car battery alligator clipped to an old man’s genitals to get what she’s after. Beckinsale plays the role beautifully equipped with a sharp, snarky tongue that’s pretty damn funny, well-timed, and consistently befitting to the Lindy’s personality. “Jolt” has many colorful characters played by interestingly elected actors. “Suicide Squad’s” Captain Boomerang himself, Jai Courtney, finds himself as the unlikely sedative lover, Justin, to counteract Lindy’s explosiveness. The Australian actor, who is more than a decade junior to Beckinsale, fills in “Jolt’s” ranks alongside the gruffy-raspy voiced Argus Filtch, I mean David Bradley (“Harry Potter” franchise), as the top-tiered bad guy who stamp-approved the hit on Justin. Along the way, a pair of tenacious detectives pursue the wrongly accused Lindy as a welcoming pair polarized on how to bring in their suspect that isn’t based off corruption with “Orange as the New Black’s” Laverne Cox as the by-the-book cop and “Snakes on a Plane’s” Bobby Cannavale as a cop with a softer side for the pursued. “Jolt” rounds out with Ori Pfeffer (“Shallow Ground”), Sophie Sanderson, Susan Sarandon (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) in a minor role, and versatile Stanley Tucci (“The Lovely Bones”) as the electroshock harness inventor and psychiatrist, Dr. Munchin.
While it sounds like I’m singing high praises for Wexler’s film that does indeed have an amazing cast, quick wit performances, can be funny, and great action, I find “Jolt” to be lacking that little Je Ne Sais Quoi as the French would say. Maybe the breakneck speed story that follows an illogical and nonsensical means of progression overloads the system to where you fry out your organic circuit boards trying to keep up with Lindy’s investigative warpath. Aside from the fact that figuring out what happened to poor Justin is no mystery, an overexploited trope spanning from every era of cinema, our heroine also nonchalantly strolls right into the middle of crowded street fights, police stations, and in and out of explosions with every aspect of her hell hath no fury like a woman scorned purpose seeming too easy without anything rewarding stemming from difficulty that surrounded her, leaving no tension to salivating over or achieve relief from her impossible no way out scenarios. Even when Lindy is easily captured, tied to a torture chair, and still mouthing off to her captor, the bad guys still let her go…on purpose! (enter mind blowing up here) Speaking of things going boom, the limited visual effects work renders like a cheaply made for television spectacular, especially with the explosive finale ofan inferior inferno ball of combustion and flames composited over top the endgame skyscraper locale. I have never loved and hated a film as much as I do “Jolt” and will have to wait until the – assumed – pipelined sequel to break this torment of indecision.
What might be considered to be vague and entertaining euphemism for addiction, “Jolt’ is high powered narcotics injected right into the sensory nervous system. The Millennium Films feature will broadband across Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service on July 23rd under the Amazon Studio’s banner. “Krampus” director of photography, Jules O’Loughlin, brings a chic and symmetrical contemporary noir to the look, using a not so severe fisheye lens to emphasize centered characters while wrapping the fluorescently lit background ever so slightly around them. Best scene is the torch lit brawl, tinted in a blue-purple shade, that makes for a simple yet grander cockfight. The steadycam work anchors down more of the fast paced punch’em, kick’em fight sequences which is a credit to O’Loughlin in making the scenes work for the audiences instead of the audience working to make out the scenes. Dominic Lewis caters the soundtrack’s pulsing electro score that does the trick by keeping up with the whiplash pacing, but barely sneaks in there as Lindy’s anthem to clean house. “Jolt” leaves Lindy’s book entirely unfinished with a well-knowledgeable human wrangler in Susan Sarandon to segue audiences into a possible sequel that will start off looking not too promising for our asskickin’ heroine. While there are no post-credit scenes, there is a slightly humorous, slightly minor character fulfilling bonus scene to looking for mid-credits. “Jolt” needs a little jolt itself in some areas of considerable concern, but the fast paced action doesn’t bore, the clever wit has endless sardonic charm, and there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.