Mallory Kane(Gina Carano) is a black-ops contractor, after being double crossed during a routine mission, she finds herself on the run. Her boss/lover Kenneth(Ewan McGregor) does what he can to stop her. Sure the plot sounds basic, and it is, but with the style and the brilliance of the action this film finds itself above and beyond most action films from the last decade.
I personally really enjoy Soderbergh’s films, especially recently as he tries to test himself and try different genre’s. The film is simply a revenge story centered around a protagonist who is so cold it’s hard to connect to her if it wasn’t for a small handful of scenes. This movie really is all about Gina Carano, who for me is the first real female action star. At no point in this movie do you not believe she can handle herself. On screen she looks to be even more than a match for most of her co-stars. Female action heroes in the past have had a hard time being believable. Like Colombiana(which I somewhat enjoyed) where Zoe Saldana who can’t be more than a 100 lbs is fighting men. Carano is a UFC fighter and just for real, she looks so real in every action scene and it helps the film over all.
The action is the selling point here all the way. Recent action films have had a hard time figuring out how to film action scenes. Too much quick cuts and hand held camera work. Soderbergh backs the camera up and allows us to see every brutal move. The fights are so well done I’ll go as far as to say this could be in the top five best action films in a long time. The best fight is right at the beginning and a second one in a hotel room. They had me on the edge of my seat with every move.
Acting wise Carano needs some time, she has a lot of charm, just some of her line delivery is really cold. That might have been what they were going for though so it’s hard to tell. I do believe though she could be the next great action star if given the right vehicle. The actors around her are so good that it also helps show her flaws. Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas and Michael Fassbender are strong. It was nice to Bill Paxton showing up, playing Mallory’s ex-Marine, now turned author father. We also get a lot of strong moments from Channing Tatum, I use to make fun of this guy but he is slowly impressing me.
Straight up I enjoyed this film from start to finish, it’s a throw back. Comes off like a lot of 70’s action films. Yet the fights are gritty and so strong. I’d like to see this become a franchise, I’d eat up every film. I’m looking forward to seeing where Carano’s career will go from here. I say she should be Wonder Woman.