FOR THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO SEE LOU, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW.
Academy Award Winner Allison Janney can elevate any project she is in. So knowing that much, I jumped into Lou (which has been riding high in Netflix’s Top 10 All Week) prepared to at least, enjoy her performance. And that is pretty much exactly all I got out of this action thriller. While it is so exciting to see Janney up on the screen, kicking ass and taking names… that’s pretty much the only reason to check this one out.
WHAT IS LOU ALL ABOUT?
Thinking she’d put her dangerous past behind her… Lou finds her quiet life upended when a desperate mother begs her to help save her kidnapped daughter. As a massive storm rages, the two women risk their lives on a rescue mission that will test their limits and expose dark and shocking secrets from their past.
SOME ODD CREATIVE DECISIONS…
There are some things about Lou that make this a really confounding watch. Starting off with the filmmakers choosing to have it take place during the Reagan-Era… Which seems to only service the movie, in that there are no cell phones readily available and they get to utilize songs from the eighties. And then there’s the choice to make Lou unnecessarily brutal at times. I’m all for blood and gore when it makes sense… but, this movie, out of nowhere, becomes shockingly violent for no reason. And while the idea of having a hurricane-like storm happening during this kidnapping is an intriguing one, it never feels like anything more than a plot device, which is frustrating. It’s jarring decisions like these, that made Lou a bit of a head-scratcher… as I don’t think the filmmakers really knew exactly what type of film they were making.
HOW IS THE ACTION IN LOU?
I also think that Lou really did not deliver on the action that was promised in the trailer. Hearing that the same fight choreographers from John Wick came in to help Janney with her stunt work for this film, really got me pumped up to see this. But, while the actress is great in these hand-to-hand combat scenes… they are so few and far between, that you could barely call this an “action”-thriller and get away with it. Though I do not want to discredit Janney’s work in those few action scenes, as the 63-year-old actress, stuns with her work in them.
The kidnapping story in Lou is an interesting one, though we have seen it done a million times before, just not set during a hurricane. And the places the screenplay goes with this story, become increasingly incredulous. Though I did not see the twist coming, it’s an odd one… and I’m not sure if it was earned. Or if it is used to take the film in a more interesting direction, for that matter.
HOW ARE THE THREE LEADS?
What I am sure of though, is that the cast here is great all-around. As I said before, Allison Janney is superb. She creates a fascinatingly rough-around-the edges character and makes us care about her, despite the subpar written dialogue. Although the secrets Lou carries are either predictable or ridiculous, the audience is still invested because of Janney’s work. Jurnee Smollett is also very strong here and her chemistry with Janney is what buoys the film along. And finally, the oh-so underrated Logan Marshall-Green is a superb villain… menacing when he needs to be, but also adding many unexpected extra layers to his character.
IS LOU WORTH WATCHING?
So, is Lou worth a watch? I would definitely say it’s better than a lot of Netflix’s recent thriller offerings, but it still not nearly as good as it should be with the talent involved. If you’re looking for a movie that you can just switch your brain off and enjoy, then you could do far worse. But, don’t expect to remember anything about it, a day after watching.
Lou is Streaming Now on Netflix.
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