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 exams their limits and exposes stunning secrets and techniques from their pasts.
Assessment: For each closely marketed film premiering on Netflix, there are dozens that fly below the radar. Most of the time, these films are throwaway programming designed to bulk up the choice that Netflix has to supply however now and again there’s a stable flick that’s value your consideration. Lou is an sudden motion film with an much more sudden 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 college of motion heroes. A pleasant throwback to motion films of the 80s and 90s, Lou is a badass thriller that needs to be on the prime of everybody’s streaming checklist 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 Nineteen Eighties, the movie issues a single mom, Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), who lives along with her daughter Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman) on a distant island. Residing subsequent door is the gruff Lou Amell (Allison Janney), a survivalist whose solely companion is her canine, Jax. One evening, Vee is kidnapped by a person (Logan Marshall-Inexperienced) which forces Lou to assist Hannah monitor down Vee and rescue her. Encountering some mercenaries alongside the way in which, Lou employs a set of fight abilities 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 films that got here earlier than it, but it surely does supply some twists to the components all through that set this movie aside.
On the prime of the distinctions that Lou brings to the desk is Allison Janney. At 62, she is essentially the most unlikely motion film lead in latest reminiscence, performing some intense hand-to-hand fight sequences which are proper up there with not solely actresses half her age however even a lot of her male counterparts. Janney has lengthy been an outstanding dramatic and comedic actor however in Lou she channels all of her abilities plus new dimensions now we have by no means seen from her. Lou as a personality is comparable in methods to Jeff Bridges latest position within the FX collection The Previous 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 quite performs a personality whose abilities are plausible and real looking in a narrative that’s grounded quite than being excessive.
It additionally helps that Lou doesn’t attempt to create stakes which are ridiculous. Sure, the story does require some suspension of disbelief, however quite than involving crime syndicates or villains bent on worldwide domination, Lou focuses on a particular set of characters and circumstances that play immediately into the Nineteen Eighties time interval. Janney works nicely alongside Jurnee Smollett who has turned in a collection of stable 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 baby. 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 rapid and extra impactful.
Produced by J.J. Abrams and Dangerous 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 stored anticipating the film to show into each different revenge or chase film I had seen earlier than, but it surely continued to shock me all through. Quite a lot of credit score for that’s owed to director Anna Foerster. Whereas Foerster has directed a number of tv collection 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 grasp of spectacle. Lou doesn’t ever go to the extent of an Emmerich scale movie however the cinematography right here makes glorious use of the drab Pacific Northwest setting and limits the particular results work to solely vital moments.
Lou is a fast-paced motion film that manages to maintain the tempo transferring and by no means slowing down. This can be a film that might have been a shock hit in film theaters through the pre-COVID period however now is a good flick for the hundreds of thousands with Netflix at their disposal. Allison Janney has now confirmed that there’s completely nothing she can’t do with regards to appearing and has given certainly one of her strongest performances in Lou. I might be shocked if this film didn’t garner a number 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 a number of enjoyable and one of many higher Netflix originals in a very long time.