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Netflix’s new high-octane action movie has viewers going wild

Published Jul 15th, 2021 7:12PM EDT
Gunpowder Milkshake
Image: Reiner Bajo/Studiocanal

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and Netflix’s new original movie Gunpowder Milkshake, which began streaming Wednesday on the service, is a violent, hyper-kinetic assault on its viewers’ senses. There are girls with guns. A cadre of sexy female assassins. Plus stylish action scenes, dark humor, and colorful anime-like visuals. All the makings, in other words, of a potential hit for the streamer.

Oh, and we didn’t even mention the star-packed cast. The movie, from director Navot Papushado, includes performances from Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, and Carla Gugino, as well as Paul Giamatti. So, how has it been received so far? Well, that’s actually the somewhat surprising part.

Gunpowder Milkshake – now streaming on Netflix

Granted, the nearly 2-hour film has only been available to stream on Netflix for around 24 hours as of the time of this writing. As I check the app’s Top 10 movie rankings right now, on Thursday afternoon, the movie is the #1 film title currently streaming on Netflix. (Netflix, remember, publishes a daily, up-to-the-minute Top 10 ranking of all TV shows and movies on the service).

However, the reactions from critics and audiences don’t seem to be where Netflix or the filmmakers probably want them to be. At least, not yet.

On the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregation website currently, Gunpowder Milkshake has an underwhelming 67% score from critics. That’s based on 49 reviews thus far. The audience reaction, meanwhile, is even worse. Based on more than 50 user ratings thus far, the movie has a 54% score.

A little more

For my money, however, this is exactly the kind of entertaining, escapist fare that’s perfect for this moment in time. “Though it runs dangerously close to being a pure sugar rush with no substance, Gunpowder Milkshake is a brutal blast that will absorb audiences into its neon-infused universe,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus.

The movie also slots nicely into a genre that Netflix is increasingly getting really good at. Comprised of big, bold, explosive action flicks that offer a fun two hours of mindless entertainment. Think Army of the Dead; Extraction; and Spenser Confidential.

A Forbes writer went so far as to suggest that Gunpowder Milkshake could possibly end up as Netflix’s biggest action movie of 2021. Meantime, here’s a look at some of the reactions to the film on Twitter thus far:

From The Mercury News in San Jose: “The numerous action sequences are breathtakingly choreographed and staged with the precision of a ballet, fluid and furious at the same time. No wonder Netflix is already talking about a sequel.” And like all sweet treats, another reviewer opines, “Gunpowder Milkshake might not be the most nutritious option available, but it does set off all the right pleasure receptors in the moment.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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