Jolt falls into the now very long line of hyper violent and brutal, comedic revenge flicks. Substantially carried by Kate Beckinsale’s blunt, British sarcasm laced attitude, as well as some inspired scrappy fight sequences and imagery. However the plot is utterly generic, the structure is messy and the immature humour largely misses.
Written by Jack Ransom
The latest Amazon Original to arrive on the platform. Jolt sees an ex-bouncer (Kate Beckinsale) with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normal whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she's ever fallen for is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the one responsible, while the cops pursue her as their lead suspect.
Opening with a massive exposition dump flashback accompanied by narration sets things off to an eye-rolling start. From there the film scrambles around briefly before the revenge plot kicks into gear. Said revenge plot gets the job done, but I never truly believed Lindy’s (Beckinsale) emotional investment and the execution is so straightforward and basic that you can tell the film is desperately struggling to fill its already short runtime. Admittedly I didn’t see the twist coming, but at the same time it feels so random and sudden that it didn’t really have any impact at all.
The lower budget is certainly apparent and the visual style and various locales scream streaming platform/DTV material. That being said, I appreciated the almost graphic novel inflicted interiors (most notably the antagonist’s lair) of some of the set designs. There are some inspired moments of gratuitous splatter and shocking violence, as well as not holding back on the seedier and raunchier elements. The fight choreography is decent, however the quick cutting can get a little messy at points, though there are a fair share of wince-inducing beat downs.
Kate Beckinsale carries the film on her shoulders the whole time. Though she and the rest of the cast are let down by the frequently clunky and generic dialogue, as well as the abundance of childish humour which clashes with the more disturbing elements. However her wired, committed and snarky attitude is always fun to watch and she has great presence. A strong supporting cast including Stanley Tucci, Jai Courtney, Bobby Cannavalle and David Bradley make up the one-note roles, but they are all charismatic enough.
Jolt had the potential to be a grindhouse throwback blast, but instead is largely a forgettable and try hard affair. Beckinsale owns the screen and the smattering of creative moments and violence are fun. However the story is bland, the emotional investment is non-existent, the lower budget definitely is garishly noticeable at times and the humour comes off as silly and cringe inducing rather than funny.