After the death of her family in an airplane crash on a flight that she was meant to be on, Stephanie Patrick discovers the crash was not an accident. She then seeks to uncover the truth by adapting the identity of an assassin to track down those responsible.
The Rhythm Section is a 2020 action drama film directed by Reed Morano and written by Mark Burnell, based on Burnell’s novel of the same name. The film stars Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Sterling K. Brown, and follows a grieving woman who sets out for revenge after discovering the plane crash that killed her family was a terrorist attack.
The Rhythm Section was released in the United States on January 31, 2020, by Paramount Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics and was a box-office bomb, having the worst wide opening weekend of all-time and is projected to lose the studio as much as $40 million.
Three years after her family’s death in a plane crash, Stephanie Patrick works as a prostitute in London and is addicted to drugs. One day, she is approached at her brothel by a journalist, Keith Proctor, who tells her that the plane crash was not an accident, but was a terrorist attack covered up by the government.
Though she initially doesn’t believe him, Stephanie visits his apartment, where she sees all of his research on the crash. He tells her that the plane crash was caused by a bomb made by a man named Reza, who attends university in London. Stephanie buys a gun and tracks Reza to the university cafeteria. She plans to kill him, but at the last second, she is unable to pull the trigger and Reza escapes. Hours later, Stephanie returns to Proctor’s apartment, where she had been staying, and finds Proctor dead.
Through Proctor’s notes, she discovers that his source for his research, B (an ex-MI6 agent), lives in a remote location in Scotland. She travels to Scotland to find B, who is disgusted with her quest to find and kill Reza. After she explains that she has nothing to lose, he reluctantly trains her to complete her quest. B, Iain Boyd, explains to her that Reza was hired by a radical terrorist, U-17, who downed the plane to kill liberal Muslim reformer Abdul Kaif. The rest of the plane crash was collateral damage. Stephanie is trained to assume the identity of an assassin, Petra Reuter, whom Boyd killed, but whose body was never found.
After months of extensive training, Boyd instructs her to go to Madrid to find Marc Serra, an information broker and ex-CIA agent. Stephanie visits Kaif’s father Suleman and asks him to fund her mission, as he had been funding Proctor’s research. Suleman refuses, accusing Proctor of taking his money and vanishing, and tells Stephanie to leave. Kaif’s mother Alia overhears and offers to fund Stephanie. Stephanie accepts and leaves her father’s wedding ring with Alia, promising to return for it.
Stephanie arrives in Madrid and makes contact with Serra, posing as Petra Reuter. Serra is skeptical but tells her that he needs Lehmans killed, a notorious gangster in Tangier, who arranged for the bomb to be on the flight. Boyd tells her to take the job, to prove herself as Petra Reuter. She travels to Tangier and finds Lehmans, who requires an oxygen mask to breathe. After a prolonged fight, Lehmans dies when separated for his breathing mask for too long. Stephanie is discovered by Lehmans’ men, but escapes after a car chase.