Screener Review: MOMENTUM (2015)


Stephan Campanelli is well on the way for an October release of his feature film directorial debut, Momentum, which presents a stylish little gem for fans of female-centric action and thrills at the cinema. Olga Kurylenlo stars in this one, and its a film that definitely lets her strech a few more muscles, which I'm always for, although when it comes to the applied formula here, it certainly feels like more of the same in some aspects.

Kurylenko stars as Alex, the leader of a team during a botched robbery which exposes her identity. Her team escapes with one fatality and an incriminating goods that now makes Alex target of a corrupt U.S. Senator's hired mercenaries led by none other than the ruthless Mr. Washington. With more bodied piling up and her extender family now in danger, Alex is in the fight of her life with a package of diamonds and a computer drive that could expose political corruption and treason as high as Washington.

The film carries a nice little pace throughout so as to avoid being campy, but it does have its stumbles. The opening set pieces were pretty cool with our actors in identitally-lit tactical costumes with voice altering helmets which I thought was pretty slick as it kicks off the film's percussionary opening act. Moving forward though, a little bit of the dialogue felt cartoonish to a degree and I didn't think much of the romantic subtext between the characters portrayed by Kurylenko and actor Colin Moss. A lot of what is meant to establish a reason to care about all of our characters gets thrown by the wayside with contrivances and largely bad acting, and Morgan Freeman's attachment to the film feels like a mild afterthought, which is a bit of a shame.
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Thankfully some of the best performances come from its key cast aside from Kurylenko, including Brendan Murray who does a fine job peppering his scenes with some brash Irish-accented personality, as well as James Purefoy who pretty much chews his scenes like a boss as the villain, thus selling the film from the moment he enters and onward.

The action is mostly textbook with the usual shaky cam bits and frenetic fight scenes, though the cat-and-mouse gun battles are throughly entertaining. Kurylenko is no Jason Statham or Liam Neeson, but is still presented believably as an actress who can lead an action movie as a result through merely suggestive editing and certain angles and shots.

Momentum isn't the first time Kurylenko has taken on an action role, and I certainly hope it won't be her last while I extend my hopes for something with a little more mainstream luster, and only because Kurylenko is worth it. In the meantime, this one is a worthy rental or one-time view on the big screen at the very least - either way you'll be guaranteed an entertaining film layered with intrigue and some intense moments with an actress who definitely knows her way around a tough female role whether or not she's wearing any shoes.

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