I had zero hopes for Jolt, and I was right. Mostly, I was tired of seeing movies in this style with similar plots. I brought all this up when I sat through Gunpowder Milkshake. At least this time, Kate Beckinsale actually seems like she's trying to make something out of this. But overall, you've got a host of vastly overqualified actors essentially starring in a direct-to-video action thriller with all the gravitas of a Steven Seagal flick. And our heroine? She's a woman who gets so angry, she has to have a specialized vest to shock her just in case she gets too angry. I'm not kidding. That's the hook. And before you ask, this film was indeed written by a man who has never written anything else, and I hope his career stays that way.
Meet Lindy (Beckinsale). Her whole life, she's been quick to anger, and for some reason, the CIA considers this to be some sort of superpower that needs to be controlled. Her therapist (Tucci) builds her an anger vest that shocks her when she starts to Hulk out. She goes on a blind date with boring accountant Justin (Courtney, who can't quite seem to find his groove anywhere), and she likes the guy. But when he turns up dead, Lindy goes on a vengeance quest to catch the killer and kick the shit out of anyone in her way, including two cops and a bunch of babies. When she finally does confront the bad guy, he's dead in seconds and the big twist is that Justin's alive, works for the CIA, and is the real bad guy. Then we get some bullshit sequel bait with Susan Sarandon.
Who the hell was this for? The balls to suggest that anyone would want this lukewarm cliché fest to have a sequel. Leave it to Amazon to think their movies are God's gift to cinema. In truth, they've never actually produced anything with staying power, mostly because all of it seems to be made with about as much effort as Jolt.
There was a time when all the terrible films filled the shelves of video rental stores across America. They would slap a cool cover, occasionally advertise a big-name actor who did this when they were first starting, and watch those rental numbers climb as people checked it out. Now, in the unfortunate death of video rental stores, the streamers have taken over. Except, they changed it up since they don’t have to worry about covers as much. Instead, they somehow get some of Hollywood’s best talents and cast them in otherwise mediocre films. Ones which tend to get a high initial weekend number of viewers, but quickly drop off after that. Forever lost in the overcrowded field of titles filling up the catalogue of all the various streamers. And this is where we wind up with Prime’s recent release, Jolt.
I’ll give the film this much; they did good by casting Kate Beckinsale. She’s always excelled in the action genre, and this is no exception. She brings it all to the table. Beauty, charm, humor, and just all around badassery. So, again, to the film’s credit, she was a smart casting choice. Unfortunately, there was absolutely nothing else which matched Beckinsale’s quality. The various relationships introduced are incredibly undercooked and there are various plot/character developments which make no sense due to zero explanation. You are literally just suppose to go with so the movie can keep chugging along. Problem with this style, though, is it makes it incredibly hard to connect to the film in any way since I never cared what happened to our characters. It also doesn’t help the action isn’t that exciting and the humor barely elicited a chuckle from me.
Jolt does anything but what the title implies. Beckinsale gives it her all. But she’s about the only one who seems to be trying. Everything around her just crumbles miserably in comparison. This is just another case of another week with a subpar film released to streamers. It will have a high viewership this weekend before quickly disappearing in the ever-growing catalogue of titles which populate these services.