‘Jolt’ Review: Danger, High Voltage
Kate Beckinsale stars as a turbocharged action heroine in Amazon’s limp, derivative revenge picture.,
- Directed by Tanya Wexler
- Action, Comedy
Lindy (Kate Beckinsale), the hero of Tanya Wexler’s action-revenge thriller “Jolt” (streaming on Amazon) has no patience for the irritating and inconsiderate. When she encounters someone boorish or grating — an insolent waitress, say, or a manspreader on the subway — she seethes with anger, as if allergic to the slightest lapse of etiquette or social politesse. And because Lindy suffers from a rare neurological condition that causes hyperaggressive tendencies and violent impulses, she usually beats these unsuspecting offenders into a bloody mess. She’s like Larry David crossed with The Terminator.
All those brutal beatings have made it hard for Lindy to live an ordinary life, but her therapist, Dr. Munchin (Stanley Tucci), has devised a solution: a kind of mobile electroconvulsive therapy mechanism, designed to suppress Lindy’s violent impulses. Whenever she wants to assault someone loudly tapping a pencil on a desk or pummel a driver for rudely berating a valet, she gives herself a little shock and that ferocious temper is reigned in. It’s like the inverse of Jason Statham in “Crank,” who needed a steady dose of electricity to power his action rampage.
The action in “Crank” was suitably electrifying, but in “Jolt,” it’s missing that rousing charge. Lindy goes on a rampage of her own after a date she’s smitten with turns up murdered, pursuing his killers with vicious abandon, and what follows is yet another single-minded quest for cutthroat vengeance in the style of “John Wick,” which has already spawned several imitators. The plot, stretched thin even at just 90 minutes, is extremely predictable, and therefore boring, and the film doesn’t do enough with its high-concept shock-therapy conceit to feel fresh or novel.
Rated R for language, graphic violence, some nudity and sexuality. Running time: 1 hour and 31 minutes. Watch on Amazon.