Lou (2022) Netflix Movie Review & Ending Explained: Action is a genre that requires no introduction. However, geriatric action (or boomers going crazy) is a sub-genre requiring a little elaboration. Unless the name isn’t self-explanatory enough, the films (or shows) that fall into this category usually feature an older person who has retired from whatever they used to when they were more mobile. But, due to some unforeseen circumstances, they have to reignite their skills and teach the youth that they are still the boss.
Westerns and Samurai films are famous for epitomizing this particular trope. However, since this storytelling style has entered comparatively modern settings, it needs to be recognized as its beast. Hence, the name geriatric action. Some of the best examples are: Taken (2008), Red (2010), The Dark Knight Returns duology, The Expendables (2010), John Wick (2014), The Last Stand (2013), The Equalizer (2014), Logan (2017), The Foreigner (2017), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), and Samaritan (2022). The only films that have countered this testosterone-fest are Halloween (2018), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), and the topic of today’s discussion, Lou (2022).
Lou (2022) Movie Review:
Anna Foerster Has The Right Ingredients For A Solid Geriatric Actioner, But She Uses The Wrong Recipe
Directed by Anna Foerster and written by Maggie Cohn and Jack Stanley, Lou follows the titular character, played by Allison Janney, who lives in a remote cabin with her dog Jax (Ozzie and Jersey). Her neighbor is a single mother named Hannah (Jurnee Smollett), who lives with her daughter Vee (Ridley Asha Bateman), and she has a boyfriend called Chris (Greyston Holt). Hannah barely ends meet but promises to pay the rent on time to Lou.
Meanwhile, Lou spends an entire day making arrangements for her eventual demise that she will bring upon herself with the help of her rifle. But she’s forced to put that plan on the back burner as Hannah bursts into her house claiming her estranged husband, Philip (Logan Marshall-Green), has kidnapped Vee and is on the run. And since the phone lines are down and Philip has exploded Lou’s car, Lou decides to track him down and rescue Vee from his clutches.
Without spoiling too much, Foerster, Cohn, and Stanley try to tackle themes of generational trauma, the ever-lasting impact of war, and revenge in Lou. And they do a decent enough job setting up the stakes and generating a sense of mystery around the dynamic shared by Lou, Hannah, and Philip. But then it runs into two big problems. The first problem is that Philip’s endgame remains unclear until the very last moment. When he reveals what he wants and why he wants to do so, it comes off as a head-scratcher because you realize that his elaborate plan hinged on Lou and Hannah not dying in the explosion above.
The second problem is that Foerster, Cohn, and Stanley spend a lot of time on exposition and re-establishing something we already know about the characters, thereby killing the story’s urgency. The fact that Philip is diabolical is very apparent. We don’t need to see him squish a butterfly or hear why he’s such a monster.
Coming to the technical aspects of Lou, its premise is tailor-made for a ton of interesting, tense, and grueling sequences. The movie takes place in a water-locked place facing one of the worst storms of all time. There’s a small town with a soft-spoken Sheriff who’s in charge. And an ex-spy is tracking a former Green Beret through the forest. But somehow, Foerster drops the ball by making the movie look like sludge with shades of green and gray. Cinematographer Michael McDonough fails to present the mixture of rain, mud, and forest aesthetically pleasingly. Those scenes are made worse by the sound design and the overbearing score. And when you get some respite from all of it and hope to see some decent fight scenes, all you get are poorly composed and choppily edited setpieces. . Additionally, it fails to capitalize on a beach fight even though the blueprint made by Headshot (2016) is right there There are only a few ways you can waste Daniel Bernhardt, and this film finds one.
Allison Janney, Jurnee Smollett, and Logan Marshall-Green are undoubtedly talented bunch of actors. But the writing stops them from internalizing anything as they are forced to constantly talk about what they are feeling. The cold opening for Janney’s Lou is incredibly effective and gives us a hint at the kind of nihilism she is experiencing. Janney relays that emotional baggage through her body language, the weariness in her voice, and her aversion to overly expressing what she’s truly feeling. However, since Foerster doesn’t cut down on the exposition, all that nuance goes down the drain. The same can be said about Logan.
The constant shifting of his eyes keeps you on your toes as you don’t know what he’s going to do next. And then he starts explaining exactly what his master plan is, thereby preventing you from projecting onto him. Smollett does a lot, and her chemistry with Janney is palpable, but even her character starts to feel very one-note after a while. Ridley Asha Bateman holds her own in front of these acting juggernauts.
Spoiler alert: The article is going into spoiler territory. You have been warned.
Lou (2022) Ending, Explained:
What Does Philip Want From Lou And Hannah? Is Lou Alive After Her Fight With Philip?
From the get-go, it seems like Philip has kidnapped Vee to mess with Hannah. Since he is guilty of war crimes, he will never get custody of his child. So, the reasoning behind his actions makes some sense (only from his perspective, though). But the fact that Hannah is so invested in helping Hannah and Vee out indicates that there’s more to it than meets the eye. At the midway point of the film, the connection between Philip, Vee, Hannah, and Lou become apparent when Lou sends Hannah to call Sheriff Rankin (Matt Craven) while she heads towards where Philip is holding Vee hostage. She tries to get jump on him. However, he ends up cornering her, and that’s when we know he’s Lou’s son. Lou is the one who exposed him so that he could go to jail. She subliminally pushed Hannah to shift to a place where she could look out for her and Vee. But that’s not the only reason why he’s angry with Lou.
During Lou’s time in Iran, she let the enemies take Philip away to maintain her cover. She did get him out of there, but by then, the damage was already done as Philip was possibly tortured, physically and mentally. So, now, he wants to do the same thing to Lou’s granddaughter and put a full stop to her legacy. When Lou tries to stop him, he injures her grievously and bails out of there. When Hannah discovers Lou (after alarming Rankin about what’s going on) and finally finds out about Lou and Philip’s connection, she explains that during her time in Iran, she got way too close to a very dangerous man, which means that Philip is a result of that relationship. Lou even admits that she gave birth to him to maintain her cover. And as a result of Lou’s eventual neglect, Philip became a monster and tortured Hannah until she got away, and is now hellbent on killing Vee. Shocked and disgusted by this revelation, Hannah leaves Lou behind and goes after Philip alone.
By the way, while all this is going on, Rankin receives a disturbing call from the CIA to confirm whether Lou and Philip are at Orcas Island because they are actually wanted fugitives. When Rankin comes to warn Lou about this turn of events, Lou steals his quad bike and heads towards the lighthouse, where Philip is holed up. Hannah gets there before her, though. She convinces Philip to let go of Vee. He complies. And once Vee is out of the picture, Hannah and Philip duke it out. But Vee does this weird thing where she goes into the basement of the lighthouse instead of going for the exit door. Yes, it does lead to the discovery that Philip has rigged the lighthouse to blow up. However, it seems like a weird way to let Lou mess with the controls of the bombs – thereby preventing Philip from causing an explosion while they are all in there – and use it later to signal the CIA to their position. Because why will one hide when they can escape?
After signaling the CIA to come near the lighthouse, Lou tells Hannah to go away with Vee because he has to deal with Philip. Then Lou proceeds to engage Philip in a fight, and after exchanging more than a couple of blows, she embraces him while looking at the approaching helicopter with a sniper in it. As soon as she apologizes to him for everything, the sniper takes the shot. By looking, both fall down and are washed away into the ocean. Later on, the CIA visits Hannah as she has recently inherited Lou’s home. They tell her to inform them if she learns anything about Lou.
After they leave, Rankin essentially informs the audience that Hannah and Vee are moving to Seattle with the help of Lou’s money. The scene shifts to a ferry that Hannah, Vee, and Jax are on. While Hannah and Vee look at the open waters, Jax turns and gives a perplexed expression after seeing someone. That someone is a woman with an injured hand who is looking at Hannah and Vee from afar. And the injury is similar to Lou’s, thereby hinting that she’s still alive and looking after her daughter-in-law and granddaughter.