Review of Lou – Allison Janney gets caught but leaves us hungry | Action and adventure movies

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JThe big cast of actors over 55, from playing dad to playing dad who is also a retired hitman, was a boon for the Neesons and Odenkirks and Costners but less so for their female counterparts, mixed in from mom to mom who is also married to a retired hitman. things seem to be slightly is getting better this year with more women of a similar age allowed into the action genre that has traditionally left them unarmed, with Michelle Yeoh and Viola Davis carving their way to box office success (before Jamie Lee Curtis never returns to “end“Michael Myers next month), and now, inevitably, Netflix is ​​bringing up the rear with a more conventional vehicle, this time for Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney.

If only it weren’t called Lou, an awfully stupid title that’s hard to say out loud with a vague sense of excitement (try it – Lou, Lou, Lou). Unfortunately, it’s also hard to watch while feeling a vague sense of excitement or a sense of anything, really, a movie that works best as an exciting concept – Allison Janney does Caught – than a real thing.

Janney plays, you get it, Lou, a gruff, self-sufficient loner living or existing in the woods, haunted by something or someone, a purposefully simple life until one night things get complicated during a particularly dramatic storm. The daughter of his closest neighbor, Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), has been, we understand, takenand she needs Lou’s help to find her.

Who is Lou? What is Lou? But the most important, Why is Lou? I have no idea after 107 intermittently entertaining but mostly mundane minutes, a film unworthy of both Janney’s talents and our attention. Lou briefly teases that it’s really something before pulling the veil from our eyes, raising her hands and shrugging. The film was originally set up at Paramount with production from JJ Abrams, a not unimpressive origin tale considering most of the jokes that have happened on Netflix, but why this storyline has garnered such attention is perhaps. – to be the greatest mystery of the film.

Originally described as Thelma & Louise meet Taken, Lou is a bit more like Sleeping with the Enemy meets Rambo meets Taken but sadly not nearly as fun as it sounds. The missing child has been caught by an abusive ex, played with a soapy menace that quickly crumbles by Logan Marshall-Green, and the early follow-up scenes of the storm, forcing the women to regroup, are effectively engaging. Director Anna Foerster, whose TV credits include genre fare like Outlander and Westworld, knows how to stage the action and set the mood (base level skill still matters a lot in the streaming underworld), and when Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley’s screenplay keeps things simple, there’s equally simple fun to be had. Janney is, as always, a real pro, and her weary cynicism, mostly used for comedic effect, makes her a presumably haunted anti-hero, and Lou allows for quieter, heavier moments than her other work does. not always allow it.

But there’s a boring and confusing twist that complicates and confuses, turning what could have been a tight little chase movie into something much jerkier and much more difficult to engage with. It turns the film into soft melodrama and takes us away from the action, a misguided attempt to trade adrenaline with emotion. Janney sells it regardless, but in the end, she literally and figuratively walks away hurt. Lou’s mere existence might be a step in the right direction for women over 50 in action movies, but it’s a faux pas everywhere else.

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