THE RHYTHM SECTION begins three years after the death of Stephanie Patrick’s parents and siblings when a bomb explodes ontheir airplane while over the ocean. Since then, she’s turned to drugs and prostitution to mask her pain. When an investigative reporter tells her the bomber is close and on the loose, Stephanie sobers up in order to take her revenge. The reporter is killed, but his major source of information trains Stephanie for months to shoot, fight and drive like a trained assassin. She then sets off to avenge her family.
Sadly, THE RHYTHM SECTION is a poorly told version of the book on which it’s based, with a jumpy script and weak storyline. On top of that, Blake Lively’s British accent goes in and out constantly, and her acting shows she doesn’t quite have what it takes to pull this one off. The story centers around a revenge story and has little moral or redemptive value. There’s an excessive about of obscenities, some very strong violence and references to drugs and prostitution. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE RHYTHM SECTION.
(HH, C, B, FR, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, DD, MM):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
String humanist worldview that centers around revenge and getting back at different people who killed the main character’s family, with a light redemptive, moral elements, including a young girl sacrifices herself for someone else, but it’s not very rooted in the story, and the sacrifice doesn’t make a lot of sense, plus some examples of Radical Islam
About 32 obscenities (mostly “f” words), one strong profanity mentioning Christ, one light OMG, and one depiction of vomiting
Lots of violence, some of it very strong, includes a lot of hand to hand combat and gun violence, one man’s head is shown lying in a pool of his blood, a girl’s hand is smashed into glass, and she slowly picks the bloody glass out of her hand, a man’s throat is slightly shown being cut, a few fatal car explosions, and poison is injected into a man’s back
Implied sex inside of a brothel, vaguely implied fornication between a man and woman although all that is shown is a few brief, steamy shots with one kiss
Upper male nudity, woman is shown in underwear and bra a few times (only once in a scene where she is “seducing” someone under false pretenses), and a woman’s back is shown while she changes her shirt
Characters are shown having an alcoholic drink throughout the movie, one brief shot where a girl pours a large serving of vodka and drinks it, but no apparent drunkenness
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Cigarette use throughout, and main character is shown to be addicted to hard drugs and is shown smoking meth or heroin, and she also is shown emptying her pockets and has bags of drugs on her, but she sobers up to avenge the murder of her family; and,
Strong elements of revenge and backstabbing, moral relativism throughout as murder is justified in order to avenge another murder.
THE RHYTHM SECTION starts off with Stephanie Patrick, a young woman who has been dealing with the tragic and painful loss of both of her parents and her siblings. Three years prior, the whole family was meant to take a trip together, but Stephanie decided to stay behind. There was a bomb on the plane her family took which exploded while the plane was over the ocean, killing everyone on board. Now, she finds herself in a brothel in England, covered in bruises and constantly on drugs in order to make herself forget all of her pain.
One night, a man shows up at the brothel who somehow knows her name and who her family was. He pays her but says he just wants to talk. He tells her he’s a reporter and knows that the man who created the bomb and placed it on the airplane is close and freely walking around the city. Stephanie has him forcefully removed from the house, but later changes her mind and sets out to find him. He takes her in at his apartment, and she sees the mounds of research that he has done covering the walls.
The next day when he leaves, she decides to steal some of his valuables and pawn them off for some cash and a gun. She finds the man who created the bomb at a nearby university and quickly sits herself across from him at a cafeteria table, positioning a gun at him from underneath. She could take her revenge right here and now, but she takes too long to make a decision, and he gets up and leaves. Returning to the reporter’s apartment, she finds it ransacked, and her one ally shot in the head.
Now Stephanie has no other choice but to run to the mysterious contact this reporter had who was informing him of all these things about the terrorist bombing. She treks out to no man’s land, and soon finds a small cabin out all alone. Soon, she is grabbed and overpowered by someone, and thrown into captivity. When she’s finally able to talk, she convinces this man, the informant, to train her to fight so she can avenge her family.
Although he doesn’t believe she will ever make it, the man trains Stephanie with hand to hand combat, shooting and driving. He tells her to assume the identity of a woman named Petra, a German assassin whom he killed, but no one knows that for sure because the body was never recovered. After a few months of brutal training, Stephanie sets off to take out the people who had a hand in her family’s death, one by one.
Sadly, THE RHYTHM SECTION doesn’t have the entertainment value that’s needed to keep viewers invested. The storyline feels choppy and poorly put together, as if some of the important details couldn’t fit and were simply omitted. There is enough action to propel it forward, and Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown’s characters bring a little interest. As Stephanie, Blake Lively sometimes seems detached. Also, her “British” accent only occurs on certain words. Besides these things, the worldview is dominantly negative, with a revenge story that leaves man as the deciding factor for morality and justice. There is also quite a bit of violence, an excessive number of “f” words and some references to prostitution and drug abuse. Because of these things, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THE RHYTHM SECTION.
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