Driven by grief and utter loneliness, Stephanie (Blake Lively) hunts down the people responsible for blowing up a plane – which carried over two hundred people, including her entire family. Trained by a former spy who goes by “B” (Jude Law), Stephanie becomes an assassin, determined to avenge the innocent lives lost by a needless act of violence.
I don’t usually go see action movies, but since starting this blog I’m branching out considerably. This movie is based on a novel, which I always appreciate as a source of a story (even though Hollywood constantly messes them up). The story is intriguing to say the least, and takes it to the next level. Instead of simply exposing or researching the people behind the attack, she decides to kill them. Thankfully the source of the information she gets about the terrorists happens to be a former spy. There is a lot of plot convenience (which may be more fleshed out in the novel), but I can forgive movies for that where pacing is concerned. She meets Mark (Sterling K. Brown) who doesn’t get much time to really make the biggest impression, though his talent is always welcome.
Blake Lively is committed to the role, and transforms into a broken woman, almost void of all her humanity. All she has left is revenge. While Jude Law’s character supplies her with new sets of skills, it adds more weight to her venture, especially when he warns her that the hardest part is living with the fact that she has killed someone. Again, it seems convenient that she sort of becomes this international spy (complete with wigs and secret identities) in the span of mere months, but I’m not even going to complain about it. I was waiting to see that part, since transformation is a rewarding part of character development. It delivered all the way to the end.
It was hard for me to follow some of the villain’s identities, especially when people simply talk about who someone is. That can make the death of someone less impactful, since we knew little about them. Still, it’s more about Stephanie’s journey, and who she is becoming. While some may not love the ending, it’s not exactly made to be satisfying for the viewer. Instead, I feel as though the story is a commentary on justice. Many movies show that revenge is a meaningless path, and will leave you unsatisfied. However, there is an aspect of justice that I think people shouldn’t ignore. You can call it what you want to – karma, fate – but I believe we get what is coming to us on some level. The people in The Rhythm Section who murdered the plane victims needed to meet justice, and Stephanie is the world’s cold way of allowing them to meet it.