Director: Tanya Wexler
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Bobby Cannavale, Jai Courtney, Laverne Cox, Stanley Tucci and David Bradley
Jolt focuses around Lindy (Beckinsale, Underworld) who has no impulse control. Ever since she was a child she has acted out violently to anyone who as much as annoys her. To help her control her anger, a doctor tries and experimental treatment, setting up shock pads on her with a switch that she can shock herself to restrain her anger.
Jolt is part John Wick, part Crank, without the good bits. Lindy’s condition has left her as a loner, not being able to connect with anyone as she tries to keep in control of herself. Every time she sees someone acting in a way that grates her, she imagines hurting them in some way and then has to shock herself to stop it from happening. It’s because of this that she wants to skip out on a date, and eventually leaves earlier, with Justin (Courtney, Suicide Squad).
The only person Lindy is close to is her doctor (Tucci, Supernova). She visits him at his office often, although it closer resembles a rundown drug-den with incredibly dirty walls and floors. It’s at his pushing that she gives Justin another chance and starts to connect with him. It’s after their second date that she receives news that Justin was murdered. She then sets out on a journey to find who’s responsible and get justice.
One of the best things about Jolt is its brevity. Without the credits it runs at 82 minutes and keeps a brisk pace throughout. This is not an excellent film; you’ve seen most of it before but it’s watchable mainly due to its length. The action isn’t anything to write home about. There’s a car chase scene where it genuinely looks like the cars are driving slowly. As this is new on Amazon Prime, this is a good film to put on either in the background when doing something else, a lazy Sunday afternoon or just before bed.
While Lindy is following the trail, there are two police-officers who consider her the prime suspect. They chase her for most of the film, talking to each other almost exclusively through jokes. Some land, some don’t. Jolt is trying really hard to be an action-comedy, but there just isn’t enough here that brings genuine laughs to consider it that. It’s also not unique enough to be a memorable action film.
The twist towards the end of the film is obvious from the beginning, mainly because we all know that if the main character is told about something that’s crucial to the plot, but happens off screen, then it didn’t happen. I hope that isn’t a spoiler, but if you can figure it out from this, then you can figure it out pretty early in the film itself.
Jolt is missing the frantic comedy of Crank and the stylish action of John Wick. What’s left is a very by the numbers and bland action film. It passes the time but doesn’t do much more than that. The performances are okay, the dialogue is fine, the the story is adequate. To be honest it’s a shame that the last 2 minutes sets up a sequel, that will and should never happen, it could have been 2 minutes shorter without it.