Kate Beckinsale Rages in Forgettable Thriller
Kate Beckinsale takes anger control to the extreme in an almost forgettable action comedy. Shake is the dazzling story of Lindy Lewis. A suffering woman, drum roll please, “Intermittent Explosive Disorder.” It is a manic condition that leads to aggressive bouts of rage; a real mental problem and not just a clever pun on improvised explosive devices. Once activated, it will smash and beat its target into a bloody pulp. The problem is that she controls these impulses by electrocuting herself through a sophisticated device. Shake it has interesting characters, but an obvious plot and sloppy direction. It’s never more than a B movie with a top-notch cast.
Shake begins with Lindy Lewis (Kate beckinsale) go on a blind date. She remembers her troubled youth. She then explains how she got to this point from terrible parents, to being institutionalized and an attempted passage into the military. She meets Justin (Jai Courtney), a shy accountant, at a restaurant. Lindy almost exploded with the rude waitress, but surprised herself with her control pendant. Surprisingly she gets along with Justin. Nor is the harness of his body scared when the night turns romantic.
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Lindy falls in love for the first time in her life. Her seedy psychiatrist (Stanley Tucci), who has to chain her up in her sessions for safety, feels like she’s making real progress. Their brief happiness fades when Justin doesn’t show up for a date. She is contacted by two detectives (Bobby Cannavale, Laverne Cox) that Justin has been murdered. Worse still, she is suspicious because of her violent past. Lindy’s anguish turns into rocket-propelled rage. Nothing will stop you from finding Justin’s killer.
Individual performances are entertaining. Kate Beckinsale has proven action skills to carry out her character. The movie also leads her to imagine a well deserved brutal punishment for any annoyance before she hits herself. Don’t mess with her yoga mat. Trans actress Laverne Cox laughs at comedic jokes. Bobby Cannavale plays the “good cop” who really cares about Lindy’s safety. The main set are Hollywood veterans. It’s the scripted material and direction that falls short.
Great action scenes are snoozers. Lindy has fun when she attacks the bad guys, but multiple chases and a climactic showdown are pretty disappointing. Shake it has an uneven flow that paralyzes the rhythm in a film that barely runs to ninety minutes. Director Tanya Wexler (Hysteria, Buffaloed) gives a lot of time to explain Lindy’s condition, but is too routine in her action choreography. Shake needed to amplify the voltage when Lindy actually lets go.
Kate Beckinsale is always charismatic. A minor actress would have looked silly here. Same as him Underworld franchise, she elevates the schlocky stuff. Shake works best as an origin story. The third act prepares Lindy for greater adventures with a cameo. So the best part of Shake is that it sets a path to a sequel, hopefully the better. The film is produced by Millennium Films, Busted Shark Productions, and Campbell Grobman Films. Shake It will be released exclusively on July 23 on Amazon Prime Video.
Topics: Amazon Prime, Streaming
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