It may be formulaic and predictable, but action thriller Lou still makes for a fun watch, thanks in large part to the considerable talents of its leading lady.
Starring: Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett, Logan Marshall-Green, Ridley Bateman, and Matt Craven
Directed by: Anna Foerster
young girl is taken. Lucky for her though, her neighbour is Lou, an aging lady who has a very particular set of skills, skills she has acquired over a very long career, skills that make her a nightmare for people like the kidnapper.
Well, sort of.
The new Netflix action flick Lou retreads old ground, venturing onto paths that several thrillers have walked down before. Lucky for us though, the film is in the very capable hands of Allison Janney, a wonderful screen presence who makes her strong, kickass character a delight to watch.
Allison’s gruff loner Lou is, the movie tells us from the very start, a troubled soul. She lives with her dog Jax in a small, isolated island community in 1980s America, and demons from her past are making her want to forego her future. But when Vee (Ridley Bateman), the daughter of her tenant, single mother Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), goes missing, the protagonist immediately springs to action and heads into the woods to go on the trail of the man (Logan Marshall-Green) who has kidnapped the girl.
To make matters worse, a torrential storm has hit the island and is making it even harder for the women to navigate the area’s trying terrain.
But the road is riddled with derivative elements and silly turns and ultimately leads to a fairly foreseeable destination, made all the more predictable by the fact that the movie keeps telling us that everything isn’t quite as it seems and a convoluted revelation is imminent.
The story around the strong central character could have been more convincing, and while the rain makes for a fittingly grim backdrop, the film could have perhaps spend a little more time exploring the survivalist aspect and the harshness of the elements or at least thrown in a couple more adversaries for Lou to defeat.
Still, it is so much fun to watch the wonderful Janney being a total badass and so refreshing to have an older heroine in charge of an action vehicle. Lou gives Janney the opportunity to not only show off her action chops but also display enough emotional depth to keep you invested in the drama.
All in all, it may be formulaic but if you’re in the mood for a good old fashioned action thriller, then Lou will deliver some escapist fun, even if it doesn’t leave you with much to think about.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection