‘Lou’ (2022) Review: A Generic Action-Thriller That Falls Apart

Anna Foerster’s Lou is a thriller that follows Allison Janney, who plays the titular role of a suicidal killing machine desperate to put her dangerous past behind. But due to the circumstances, she lands herself in a situation where she has to find her neighbour, Hannah’s (Jurnee Smollett) daughter, Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman). In addition to a long, award-winning career, Janney has proven to have a lot of range. Her role is the best thing about the movie itself, which isn’t surprising. Janney channels Taken and Nobody all together, yet Lou doesn’t contain any grappling twist meant to surprise the audience.

Janney’s Lou lives near a remote area in the Pacific Northwest. She lives a quiet life with her dog Jax and hunts deer. Lou is preparing for something. She withdraws all of her money from her bank account and writes a letter written to someone about inheriting her home. It’s dark times for Lou. She gets prepared to commit suicide when Hannah frantically barges into her home. Her daughter, Vee, is missing and she knows exactly who took her. Her ex-husband, Phillip (Logan Marshall-Green), is a sociopathic killer and ex-Green Berets, who was presumed dead, faked his death to kidnap his daughter. In the middle of a nasty storm, Lou and Hannah set out to track Phillip and get Vee back before they leave the island.

Lou has some great action scenes, and Janney can perform the unlikable killing machine. The fighting sequence inside the cabin where Lou completely blindsides the men helping out Phillip is incredible. She enters the cabin playing the role of an oblivious old woman lost in the middle of the storm and unleashes her murderous skills on them when they least expect it. After that sequence, there isn’t much that keeps the momentum alive. It stalls out and becomes increasingly dull when the story tries to focus on the twist that ruins the movie.

The movie has one of those twists that need to build suspense which isn’t written properly. The character’s history has to connect with the story’s pacing. However, Lou doesn’t attempt to build any kind of suspense. It prefers to make a ridiculous spectacle out of the movie. It becomes less entertaining and increasingly dull. The emotional drive of Lou’s twist reveals to be empty and hollow. Because of these decisions, it’s hard to keep up with the cliched storyline. It’s not intriguing and becomes tedious to keep up with everything happening around the characters.

The praise goes to Janney, who tries to make the best of the movie’s dull storyline. She never gives into the idea that Lou has to be likeable for the audience to choose her side. She’s a killing machine and a nihilistic one at that. It would have been interesting to dive into her perspective, as to how she got to this point where she is currently, instead of focusing on the tug-of-war between Phillip and Hannah.

Lou’s secret and Phillip’s backstory could’ve led to an interesting conclusion. But when it all came down to putting it all together, it fell apart. Lou’s tone and the story could have worked if given the time to build the story properly. Apart from that one action scene, there isn’t much to go on. Janney gives her best performance. That is all that matters in this dull action-thriller.

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