I think I need one of these shock vests for
when I see people not return their cart at
the grocery store.
Hey everybody, welcome to Mainely Movies.
Today I’m gonna be talking about the 2021
action comedy: Jolt, which will be released
on Prime Video on July 23rd.
A big thank you to Amazon for providing me
with an early screener of this movie to review.
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All of my reviews include a breakdown of the
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that extra content.
Jolt stars Kate Beckinsale, Stanley Tucci,
and Bobby Cannavale and was directed by Tanya
It tells the story Lindy, played by Kate Beckinsale,
who’s a woman with severe intermittent explosive
In order to control her violent outbursts,
she uses an experimental treatment, but things
get complicated when an attack leaves her
I always love a good female-led action movie.
I like most action movies, but there’s always
something extra compelling to me about an
action movie with a woman in the lead role.
– everything from Wonder Woman to Atomic Blonde
to Gunpowder Milkshake, just last week – but
comparatively, they’re still more rare than
male-led action movies.
So, anytime I see that a new female-led action
movie’s coming out, I jump at the chance
to watch it.
And when that movie’s also directed by a
woman (as is the case here), it’s even more
exciting because there’s a different perspective
behind the camera and the potential for a
more authentic character presentation because
the director can relate and connect on a different
Unfortunately, that can be hindered by a script
written by somebody who isn’t on that same
wavelength and it’s abundantly clear that
that was the case with Jolt.
I have to say, I really like the premise for
It’s not anything overly creative, but there’s
something admirable about its straightforward
nature because you don’t necessarily want
something overly intricate for an action movie
A simple premise that sets up for and explains
the chaos and action to come is more than
On paper, the premise here initially seems
very reminiscent of a certain other electricity-driven
action movie, but I will say that it’s fairly
Rather than using electrical shocks to stay
alive, our main character here uses electricity
to keeps others alive because it’s the only
thing she can do to repress her own violent
This impulse control and repression side of
the story is done really well during the first
act of this movie.
I think the editing in particular during these
outburst scenes is really effective.
It does a good job of putting you in the mindset
You really see and feel the scene play out
as she does.
Once something triggers one of her outbursts,
all of a sudden the editing shifts.
The camera focuses in on little details – somebody’s
mouth as they talk or somebody repeatedly
tapping a pencil.
We see Lindy’s attempts at keeping calm
and her quickly starting to lose that battle.
The sound changes as she becomes overwhelmed
with rage – things get muffled and we hear
ear ringing and the sound of Lindy’s heartbeat
All of these things leading up to either her
snapping or her shocking herself.
And the movie plays around with that a bit
to kind of keep you on your toes.
And so, this movie’s got a fun and fairly
unique premise with a lot of potential.
And it really works – for the first act.
Once the main plot of the story is instigated,
this movie quickly starts to fall apart.
The script is a bit of a mess and does very
little with the interesting premise it has
to work with.
It all plays out very bizarrely; there’s
a clear goal set forth at the end of the first
act, but the story manages to feel almost
aimless after that point.
I mean, we know what Lindy wants to accomplish,
but it all feels so haphazard.
Maybe they were trying to go for the whole
“She’s chaotic and unpredictable” thing,
but it felt like there wasn’t really much
of a story path.
Things sort of just happen, often in ways
that don’t feel remotely realistic.
Now, obviously this movie’s not based on
a true story so a little bit of heightened
reality’s to be expected, but the way story
beats string together and the way people interact
with Lindy just doesn’t make much sense
even within this fictional world.
And this script has got some awful, kind of
cringey dialogue at points that really no
actor could save, so some of the performances
come off not so great as a result.
Likely due to the script, the tone of this
film is also incredibly bizarre.
As with the other components of this movie,
the tonal balance was decent during the first
The character of Lindy is set up as maybe
a little too cool, being overly sardonic and
badass, but she’s not awful and there’s
this good blend of action and sarcastic humor,
especially with some of the back and forth
between her and her doctor.
But once we move out of that first act, things
get super messy with the tone.
Some movies succeed at blending humor and
action and cool characters, but the tones
just clash here and never feel like they belong
The humor is especially out of place here,
which seems weird because this is the type
of ridiculous action story that’s ripe for
It’s just the wrong type of comedy.
Like I mentioned before, the dialogue’s
pretty bad so we either have these overly
fake, quippy moments or some really cringey
And there’s one moment in particular in
a hospital, where the humor just suddenly
goes off the rails in the most bizarre kind
of way that’s hard to even articulate in
Jolt is a film that had a spark of an idea;
a premise with the potential to deliver an
extremely entertaining story and also possibly
explore a character that we’ve never quite
Instead, it’s a bizarre, underwhelming film
that feels like a modified and recycled script
from the mid-2000s.
It’s not a total power failure, but the
components that do work aren’t enough to
produce the voltage necessary for keeping
this movie playing on many screens.
Alright, let’s talk about the pros and cons.
The biggest pro here is definitely the premise.
Although it has some similarities to other
films, the way this concept is constructed
is pretty original.
We get a character who, due to a biological
disorder, is extremely volatile and can violently
snap at any minute on anybody if it weren’t
for her experimental shock vest.
But one of the most interesting aspects of
that is that she – the person with impulse
control issues – is the one in control of
activating her own repression treatment.
She doesn’t have a handler or something,
so that introduces this extra layer to the
story once the revenge plot kicks in.
The first act does a great job with introducing
and setting up this premise, it’s just a
shame that the rest of the film can’t really
deliver on its potential.
On the con side, the biggest issue has gotta
be the tone.
It tries to mix action, dark humor, and snappy
comedy, but it just doesn’t work here at
There are plenty of films that have nailed
that tonal blend so it can be done; it just
The humor especially feels extremely out of
Rather than working with the inherent silliness
of the premise, it comes across feeling really
forced and like it’s trying too hard to
be funny and cool and witty.
And so it ends up being none of those things.
In addition to its cringey unfunny moments,
the film also has these incredibly random
moments of absurdity.
There’s only a couple of them, but they
come completely out of nowhere and feel like
they’re from an entirely different movie.
Con number two certainly contributed to the
first con a bit and that’s the script.
It’s so strange cause, like I said, this
movie has a good premise and the first act
is pretty decent, but then it’s like somebody
else wrote the rest of the movie.
At least in the credits, only one person’s
listed as the writer here, so I don’t have
any logical explanation as to why the film
is the way it is.
There’s some truly awful dialogue and after
the catalyzing event at the end of the first
act, this movie suddenly becomes very disparate
things without any cohesive, guiding direction.
It’s an action movie that slides from decent
to really trite then back again.
It’s a revenge story, but it’s a bizarre
It has an investigation, but it’s got a
weird take on the buddy-cop dynamic.
And then oftentimes it feels like an unintentional
parody of itself.
Before I give you my rating and recommendations,
I want to remind you that if you’re interested
in buying any of the other films I mentioned
today, I do have affiliate links for all of
them in the description below.
I get a small commission from anything you
buy using one of my links, so I’d really appreciate
if you’d use them if you’re in the market
for any of these movies.
I’m gonna give Jolt 2.5 out of 5 paws, but
it’s a very low 2.5 and I wouldn’t be
surprised at all if it drops down for me on
rewatch once the novelty of the premise wears
It’s a bafflingly movie that doesn’t have
a clear sense of identity and is gonna leave
you not knowing what to make of it, at best.
I would recommend Jolt mostly to people who
are really big fans of the actors involved.
The script does not give them much to work
and while they may have had fun making the
movie, I think only Stanley Tucci could be
considered good here.
If you like big, silly revenge action movies
from the 2000s and thought the premise sounded
interesting, it’s probably worth giving
this one a shot, just be aware that it doesn’t
use the premise to its full potential.
If you liked Jolt, I’ve obviously gotta
These are gonna be two films that get compared
a lot just because of the electrical element,
but they are fairly different from one another
Crank has a very weird tonal blend too and
it’s just a wild film, so if you want some
crazy Jason Statham action from the mid-2000s,
you might like it.
If you want another action movie from that
era with a violence repression component,
you should check out Unleashed.
It’s a more dramatic action movie that focuses
on a man who’s been trained since childhood
to violently attack anybody when his metal
collar is removed.
And if you’re interested in another recent
(and much better) film by the same director
as Jolt, you might want to watch Buffaloed.
This was Tanya Wexler’s last film and blends
its humor quite a bit better, delivering an
entertaining and very original story.
Alright, a couple questions for you guys.
Number one: Have you seen Jolt?
If so, what’d you think of it?
And number two: What’s your favorite movie
that features an experimental medical treatment?
Be sure to leave your answers in the comments
below so we can get a discussion going.
Alright, so if you got some enjoyment, insight,
or information out of this review, I’d appreciate
it if you’d hit that like button.
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Till next time, this has been Alyssa with
Mainely Movies: The way life should be.