Jolt review – Kate Beckinsale’s furious heroine is electrically entertaining

This jolly, wetly violent action-comedy doesn’t take itself in the least bit seriously, which makes it even more fun – but at the same time it cleverly gloms on to a very zeitgeisty issue in its depiction of female rage and women’s ambivalent relationship to their own fury. It’s like a Jezebel article transmuted into fiction, but with way more guns and the sarkiness is turned up to the max.

Protagonist Lindy (Kate Beckinsale, always likable in a tough big sister way, regardless of whatever character she’s playing) has struggled with anger management issues ever since she was a little girl, having shoved a boy’s face in a plate of birthday cake because he annoyed her. After stints of trying to put that born-with-it wrath and cortisone-fuelled superhuman strength to good use as a soldier or a bouncer and so forth, she now is exhausted and just wants to stop the urge to slit throats and crush skulls – a desire signified here by extreme eye close-ups and desaturated fantasy sequences. That’s why she’s seeing a specialist psychiatrist, Dr Munchin (Stanley Tucci), who has created a pervy Pavlovian accessory consisting of various electrodes and battery packs that she can use to deliver a shock to herself – or jolt per the title – to snap her out of whatever murderous, violent thought she’s having, like a more complicated electric collar she can control.

When a nice accountant (Jai Courtney) she hooks up with via a blind date ends up murdered, Lindy decides use her own set of special skills to find out who killed him. However, that puts her at odds with investigating police officers Vicars and Nevin (Bobby Cannavale and Laverne Cox, respectively), a delicious double act). Cue lots of back and forth banter between the three, as well as the odd bout of foreplay fisticuffs between Lindy and Vicars who will clearly become a couple should there be a sequel. Altogether, this is flyweight fun.

Jolt is released on 23 July on Amazon Prime Video.

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