Plot: A storm rages. A younger lady is kidnapped. Her mom groups up with the mysterious lady subsequent door to pursue the kidnapper – a journey that assessments their limits and exposes stunning secrets and techniques from their pasts.
Evaluation: For each closely marketed film premiering on Netflix, there are dozens that fly below the radar. Most of the time, these motion pictures are throwaway programming designed to bulk up the choice that Netflix has to supply however once in a while there’s a strong flick that’s value your consideration. Lou is an surprising motion film with an much more surprising lead position from Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney who earns a spot alongside Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Bob Odenkirk, and Joey King within the John Wick faculty of motion heroes. A pleasant throwback to motion motion pictures of the 80s and 90s, Lou is a badass thriller that must be on the high of everybody’s streaming listing this weekend.
One of the best factor about Lou is that the trailer doesn’t give away an excessive amount of of the plot. Set within the Eighties, the movie issues a single mom, Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), who lives along with her daughter Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman) on a distant island. Dwelling subsequent door is the gruff Lou Amell (Allison Janney), a survivalist whose solely companion is her canine, Jax. One night time, Vee is kidnapped by a person (Logan Marshall-Inexperienced) which forces Lou to assist Hannah observe down Vee and rescue her. Encountering some mercenaries alongside the best way, Lou employs a set of fight expertise that reveal parts of her previous that she has not shared for years. As a fundamental setup, Lou doesn’t have a narrative that’s all that in contrast to numerous motion motion pictures that got here earlier than it, however it does supply some twists to the formulation all through that set this movie aside.
On the high of the distinctions that Lou brings to the desk is Allison Janney. At 62, she is probably the most unlikely motion film lead in latest reminiscence, performing some intense hand-to-hand fight sequences which might be proper up there with not solely actresses half her age however even lots of her male counterparts. Janney has lengthy been an exceptional dramatic and comedic actor however in Lou she channels all of her expertise plus new dimensions we have now by no means seen from her. Lou as a personality is comparable in methods to Jeff Bridges latest position within the FX sequence The Outdated Man which featured the acclaimed actor enjoying a cinematic creation in a practical method. Janney by no means goes to the extent of John Wick or Atomic Blonde however relatively performs a personality whose expertise are plausible and real looking in a narrative that’s grounded relatively than being excessive.
It additionally helps that Lou doesn’t attempt to create stakes which might be ridiculous. Sure, the story does require some suspension of disbelief, however relatively than involving crime syndicates or villains bent on worldwide domination, Lou focuses on a selected set of characters and circumstances that play immediately into the Eighties time interval. Janney works nicely alongside Jurnee Smollett who has turned in a sequence of strong turns in HBO’s Lovecraft Nation and the latest Netflix movie Spiderhead. Right here, she by no means comes throughout as a hindrance to the plot however holds her personal as a mom who would do something to save lots of her youngster. Logan Marshall-Inexperienced is equally good because the broken antagonist whose previous is integral to the plot of the story. The overwhelming majority of this film is these three characters which helps the story really feel extra instant and extra impactful.
Produced by J.J. Abrams and Unhealthy Robotic, Lou is the primary screenplay from Maggie Cohn (American Crime Story, The Staircase) and Jack Stanley who channel acquainted motion tropes right into a script that by no means feels cliche or formulaic. On the outset, I saved anticipating the film to show into each different revenge or chase film I had seen earlier than, however it continued to shock me all through. Loads of credit score for that’s owed to director Anna Foerster. Whereas Foerster has directed a number of tv sequence like Westworld and Jessica Jones, her sole movie credit score is on Underworld: Blood Wars. Foerster has labored on each movie Roland Emmerich has made since Independence Day, so she has a great grasp of spectacle. Lou doesn’t ever go to the extent of an Emmerich scale movie however the cinematography right here makes wonderful use of the drab Pacific Northwest setting and limits the particular results work to solely essential moments.
Lou is a fast-paced motion film that manages to maintain the tempo transferring and by no means slowing down. It is a film that might have been a shock hit in film theaters throughout the pre-COVID period however now is a superb flick for the thousands and thousands with Netflix at their disposal. Allison Janney has now confirmed that there’s completely nothing she can’t do relating to performing and has given considered one of her strongest performances in Lou. I’d be shocked if this film didn’t garner plenty of chatter about placing Janney in additional roles like this and perhaps even exploring extra about this character in an ongoing franchise. As a standalone, Lou is plenty of enjoyable and one of many higher Netflix originals in a very long time.