30th Jul2021

‘Jolt’ VOD Review (Amazon Prime)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Jai Courtney, Stanley Tucci, Bobby Cannavale, Laverne Cox, Constantine Gregory, Ori Pfeffer, David Bradley, Susan Sarandon, Lewis Ian Bray | Written by Scott Wascha | Directed by Tanya Wexler

Tanya Wexler, director of the brilliant indie crime caper Buffaloed, returns for yet another film about a strong, feisty woman – in this case Lindy (Kate Beckinsale) a former bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After Justin, the first guy she’s ever fallen for (played by Jai Courtney, who also appeared in Wexler’s Buffaloed) is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.

Remember Crank? The 2006 Jason Statham starring film from directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor? Well Jolt could be seen as something of a sister movie to that film – with Beckinsale’s Lindy zapping herself to keep calm rather than to stay alive. Because boy, does Lindy need to keep calm! And much like Crank, Jolt is a fast-paced, gloriously manic and over the top action film that perfectly mixes black humour with ultra-violence. Oh, and this may well be Kate Beckinsale’s best role yet…

I say best role because Beckinsale seemingly relishes the opportunity to not only play another badass female (as she did in the Underworld franchise) but also to show some personality. Yes she’s been the action heroine before but never has she looked, or given the opportunity to be, as free to be as wise-cracking, as sarcastic, as brazen as she is in her role as Lindy. It honestly shows an all-new side to Beckinsale that I don’t think audiences have ever seen before.

But this is a film that, I think, relishes in showing you things you’ve never seen before – and not only from the performers. Case in point, Jolt features a hospital-set chase scene that climaxes in a sequence that involves baby-throwing! It might sound bizarre, it might sound ridiculous but it is, in fact, sheer cinematic brilliance. Ridiculously over the top madness in a film that embraces the crazy and runs with it.

And who doesn’t just want to sit back and be blown away by cinematic insanity? Crank, Hardcore Henry and now Jolt… three films that embrace the craziness and run with it; and with Jolt we get a fantastic female-led film to add to the mix. And Beckinsale can hang with the best of the action hero leads of today – with the kind of sass and attitude that reminded me of Kathleen Turner’s 80s roles. The kind of “don’t take any sh*t from anyone” mindset that made Turner’s V.I. Warshawski (a personal fave0 such an amazing, if sadly underrated, film.

With an ending that nods to a sequel, it seems Beckinsale may be headed into female action superstar territory a la Keanu Reeves’ John Wick franchise. I’m I here for it. All of it!

**** 4/5

Jolt is available to stream now on Amazon Prime.


Comments are closed.