Jolt Parent Guide
This pale imitator of the John Wick franchise doesn't measure up in terms of script or action choreography.
Parent Movie Review
Lindy (Kate Beckinsale) was born with an abnormally high level of cortisol, which causes her to snap with very little provocation and hurt people. Unable to function in the real world, Lindy has spent her life being tested and experimented on, as her cortisol levels make her faster and stronger than the average human. With the help of an electrode studded vest that shocks her out of her anger, Lindy is just starting to live a somewhat normal life under the watchful eye of her psychiatrist, Dr. Munchin (Stanely Tucci). But when tragedy strikes, Lindy finds herself thrust into a web of lies and conspiracies, which she must navigate the only way she knows how to: by fighting.
I would like to go on record right now as saying that John Wick is one of the greatest action movies of this century, and I don’t think that’s a controversial statement. Jolt is very obviously trying to do what John Wick did, but it fails to even come close to the heights of its predecessor. I make the comparison between the two because the plots are very similar: a person with a very particular set of skills is trying to live a normal life when the murder of someone emotionally significant to them triggers a descent into the seedy criminal underbelly of their city in a quest for revenge. There’s even a set piece near the end of Jolt that I swear is identical to one used in John Wick: Chapter 3. I won’t belabor this comparison, but once you notice it you can’t un-notice it and I finished my viewing of this film wishing I had just watched John Wick again instead.
In order for an audience to root for someone who is going on a murderous rampage, we need to understand the protagonist’s motivations and deem it worthy of the violence they are committing. Kate Beckinsale is really trying her best, and I have no complaints about her acting, but the writers don’t give us enough time to know her or empathize with her, nor is her motivation all that justifiable. That made it hard to root for her, and I instead found myself cheering on Detective Vicars (Bobby Cannavale) as he tries to stop her bloody revenge quest.
On top of that failure in the writing department, the action is generic. There are lots of quick cuts, which make it hard to make out some of the fight sequences, and I noticed a few very obvious fake hits. If you’re going to make a movie based entirely around violence, at least make the violence interesting to watch! Perhaps most egregiously, the writers decided not to end the film where it should have, but instead added an unnecessary final scene in which Susan Sarandon emerges from the shadows and basically says she wants to talk to Lindy about the Avengers initiative. Did the failure of the Dark Universe teach Hollywood nothing? Stop trying to set up universes before you’ve even finished one movie!
If you haven’t guessed by now, this is not a production for kids. I mean, the whole premise of the story is about a woman who can’t control her violent urges, so I’m hoping no one is reading my review because they were planning to watch it with their kindergartener. Look, if you’re a big action fan, or just really want to see Kate Beckinsale back in action (and can cope with the cussing), this is not a terrible way to spend 90 mindless minutes. It’s passably entertaining and Beckinsale gives a great performance. Just don’t expect it to give a jolt of fresh air to the genre.Directed by Tanya Wexler. Starring Kate Beckinsale, Jai Courtney, Stanley Tucci. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release July 23, 2021. Updated July 23, 2021
Rating & Content Info
Why is Jolt rated R? Jolt is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, sexual content, and language throughout
Violence: The plot of the movie centers around violence. This includes, but is not limited to, punching, kicking, fighting, slamming people’s heads into the ground, groin kicks, neck snaps, stabbing, strangling, getting knocked unconscious, and torturing a man by hooking up a car battery to his genitals. There is also a major car crash. Guns are pointed at and shot at people, including a graphic scene of a woman being shot through the head.
Sexual Content: A man and woman kiss and undress. No nudity is shown, but it is clear they are having sex. There are some sexual innuendos and jokes, including jokes about STI’s and masturbation. A woman describes a man’s penis in some detail.
Profanity: There are over 50 sexually obscene terms, along with around 25 mild and moderate expletives.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters drink alcohol in some scenes. There are brief mentions of alcoholism and pill addictions.
Page last updated July 23, 2021
Jolt Parents' Guide
What is Lindy craving that was missing from her life? How does this affect the choices she makes and her way of viewing the world?
Related home video titles:
The John Wick franchise is a dominant force in action movies with its fast-moving plots and intricately crafted fight scenes. The character is introduced in John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum has the titular hero on the run with a bounty on his head.
Another film trying to create a female-led John Wick type film is Gunpowder Milkshake.
Atomic Blonde isn’t a great film, but it has excellent action choreography and fans of the genre will enjoy the fight scenes.