Evaluate: Netflix’s ‘Lou’ Is a Feminine-Pushed Motion-Thriller That Packs a Critical Punch

Netflix’s newest action-thriller isn’t simply one other revenge movie. Cinematographer and director Anna Foerster (Westworld) makes her directorial debut with Lou — a female-driven movie that packs a severe punch. 

Written by Maggie Cohn (The Staircase) and Jack Stanley, Lou follows the titular landlord (Allison Janney) as she considerably enjoys her solitary existence on an island within the Pacific Northwest along with her canine Jax. The primary couple of minutes set up that, though she’s fairly well-liked on the town, she’s feared to some extent. Not as a result of she places off harmful vibes, however extra like, “Right here comes that previous grump.” Principally, Lou’s incapacity to be personable makes individuals uneasy, so that they hold their distance. 

The enigmatic Lou rents a trailer to Hannah (Jurnee Smollett) and her daughter Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman). We’re launched to the younger single mother whereas she’s concurrently doing laundry and enjoying along with her daughter. In contrast to her stoic landlord, she has a heat to her. There’s some stress when the 2 ladies work together, principally as a result of Lou, like each cinematic landlord, is hounding Hannah for hire. 

Throughout a gnarly rainstorm, Vee is taken by Hannah’s violent ex, performed by the proficient and underrated actor Logan Marshall-Inexperienced. She runs to Lou’s place to make use of the cellphone. Naturally, it’s out. Lou takes the lead, they usually got down to discover her daughter. I’ve learn just a few descriptions of the movie that say Hannah “begs” Lou for assist. However it’s extra like she exhibits up to make use of a cellphone that doesn’t work, rapidly rambles off what’s happening, and Lou decides that is her downside now, too. 

Regardless that she’s recognized for her comedic roles, Janney actually is aware of easy methods to play a lady hardened by her previous. The character of Lou isn’t fairly LaVona Golden (from I, Tonya) stage, although. Janney instructed Leisure Weekly that Lou is “a lady of few phrases,” who’s “form of a scary determine on the town.” She’s positively intimidating however has a humorousness and continues to be likable. 

​​As seen within the trailer, Lou ominously burns redacted paperwork and previous photographs in her fire. We don’t discover out what her deal is till later. It makes just a little extra sense as soon as we see she’s an sudden badass with mysterious experience the killing. She additionally is aware of easy methods to stay off the land. Straight away, she’s proven searching and skinning animals, so if that grosses you out, I wouldn’t eat whereas watching the primary 4 minutes not less than. 

Lou and Hannah aren’t a probable pair. Alongside the way in which, they uncover they’ve extra in frequent than they thought. Lou hundreds up on weapons and whips out all this data on monitoring individuals on the run. As a single mom and survivor of an abusive husband, Hannah’s picked up her fair proportion of survival ways too. She’s a mama bear going primal, not a damsel in misery. 

As soon as the storm is in full swing, the characters spend a lot of the movie completely rain-soaked. Their trek by the wilderness of the San Juan Islands is a tough one. Lou was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Regardless of the raging storm and terrifying circumstances, the island’s surroundings is gorgeous. Having ugly issues occurring in a stupendous place jogs my memory of the picturesque fishing city in Midnight Mass.

I don’t see it as a revenge thriller within the conventional sense. It’s extra of a “rescuing a kidnapped baby” thriller. In an interview with Display screen Rant, Smollett stated, “That was a really fascinating dialogue to have about ladies and womanhood, after which to place that within the motion style house was simply so thrilling and thrilling.” She continued, “As a result of it’s not a message; we’re form of pressured to work collectively and make our means.” I additionally assume it’s a mixture of the writing and chemistry between Smollett and Janney that makes the emotional moments really feel extra genuine and never like action-thriller tropes. 

When it was introduced again in 2018 by The Hollywood Reporter, it was described as “being a tonal mixture of Thelma and Louis and Taken.” It’s an outline that’s certain to get individuals to observe. However calling Lou a feminine Bryan Mills or John Wick is reductive. Fortunately, Lou doesn’t have a second the place she explicitly tells somebody she has a “very explicit set of expertise.” 

It might not be completely action-packed however the struggle scenes are thrilling and really properly completed; notably an epic one in the direction of the top that I received’t spoil. Janney stated that she educated with stunt choreographer and actor Daniel Bernhardt, (who you won’t know by title however will acknowledge from movies like Logan, Atomic Blonde, and because the man who will get his legs damaged by Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey). 

Anna Foerster’s Lou is a compelling thriller starring two of essentially the most proficient actresses working at this time who ship the complicated feelings and physicality that make their characters individuals we need to root for. 

Lou debuts on September 23, 2022, on Netflix.

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