‘…Tanya Wexler’s supposed thriller is just the latest dud in the annals of streaming fiascos…’

As both Branson and Bezos found out last week, pretending to be an astronaut during a lethal pandemic is a bad look for the ages; it doesn’t help that stomach-churning evidence of Amazon’s wasteful destruction of food emerges at the same time. Amazon’s treatment of film-makers is as loaded as any rigged carnival side-show; indie film-makers are unlikely to get a cent for every view their films get on the platform. So Amazon Original movie Jolt arrives on a tidal wave of bad publicity, the film feels as welcome as the kind of communal tax responsibilities Bezos and his ilk are so skilled at avoiding.

The specs are rote; Lindy Lewis (Kate Beckinsale) suffers from intermittent explosive disorder, which causes her to lash out in emotional ketchup bursts of violence. Her handler, Dr Ivan Munchin (Stanley Tucci) has created a vest that delivers electric shocks to her system, and allows her some degree of control of her condition. A couple of dates with an accountant called Justin (Jai Courtney) awaken plenty of feelings from Lindy, particularly when the local NYC cops (Bobby Cannavale and Laverne Cox) tell her that Justin just wound up dead. Lindy finds herself a suspect, but can she overcome her IED and apprehend those responsible for her predicament?

Jolt comes across as a female reboot of the Crank movies, with Lindy’s mood-swings controlled by a little red button on a remote, presumably not like the junk fire-sticks that Amazon sell which stop functioning shortly after purchase. There’s some juice in this idea, but the supposed New York locations are unconvincingly tatty for a film shot in the UK and Bulgaria, while the constant interruptions to show the audience Lindy’s violent fantasies are repetitive and exhausting. Tucci has some fun with dialogue about Lindy’s ‘cutting edge, avant garde’ treatment, but the cast are otherwise as glum as the shop-worn concept.

‘You’re in for a shock’ say the posters for Jolt, but the only surprising thing here is that popular stars like Beckinsale, Tucci and even an unbilled Susan Sarandon cameo can be conjured up so cheaply. Sure, money solves everything short-term, but reputational damage sets in when a film sets its sights so low. Cannavale and Cox’s characters experiment with a new line of swearing here by creating new profanities by linking existing ones; ‘f*ck/hell’ or ‘d*ckbag’. That’s about the level of innovation here. Tanya Wexler’s supposed thriller is just the latest dud in the annals of streaming fiascos; maybe from space it looks like a movie, but here on earth, it’s just another emetic corporate scam.


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    • Both. This isn’t one of Amazon’s Prime’s many aquisitions, this is content created by Amazon for their own streaming channel, and it’s poor. Every week I get requests from film-makers to review their work on Amazon Prime, but they get paid less than a cent per sale; Amazon have loaded the dice so that no-one can win but them. It doesn’t have to be this way, particularly if they have the funds going spare to fire their ex-boss into the atmosphere. I make no apology for mentioning Bezos as part of this review; it’s his company’s policies that stifle and exploit independent, creative cinema talents and rip them off, then flog garbage like this on their backs. Jolt is very much part of Amazon Prime; ie a con-job that’s about nothing but optics and profit.

  1. Saw this on Amazon when I was browsing. They were very fast to get rid of The Tomorrow War and plaster this one every where. I’m not going to bemoan Amazon because I use it, so it would just feel hypocritical. Rewatching South Park on there – Bezos can kill as many people as he likes, that show is hilarious! But you’ll be happy to know I won’t be watching this, in protest against immoralist fat cats, of course. Good cast – sounds like a terrible concept, though. A big Nope.

    • Using a service doesn’t excuse the way it’s run. I’d use Amazon services with enthusiasm if they weren’t tax-dodging, resource wasting, cultural destroyers. Having South Park in their catalogue doesn’t excuse cheating the rest of the world out of their livelihoods.

      • But why should they change? They make billions and billions of dollars, Bezos and his cronies don’t care about morals or ethics, millions of people will still use their services every day, and nobody can stop them. Unless people actually protested against using their products and such, they’ll just keep on doing what they’re doing.

    • I think she’s got a geat track record, and she was the only reason to review this. She’s a real star, utterly wasted on this.

    • Beckinsale is great in most things, same for most of this cast. But you can get a film made with money or inspiration, and the former is what’s going on here. And sure, people will always have negative feelings about a boss like Bezos, that goes with the territory in his business, but the crime sheet is advanced on so many levels now, artistically, morally, financially, he’d be better not coming back from his fake-space trip…

  2. Saw this in an ad while watching Chuck yesterday. I definitely got the Crank vibe and as I hated that movie, that was not a good thing.
    Definitely not interested now.

    What food wastage thing are you talking about?

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