So, Steven Soderbergh brings us a slightly convoluted film about a former Marine working for a private company that is hired by the CIA to do secret missions who is betrayed by people and revenge ensues. Soderbergh is no stranger to the gritty crime drama, and this film hits the nail on the head…mostly, but misses the mark enough to leave me just slightly torn about my feelings for it.
Overall, it is a great experience. At a mere 90 minute run time, it speaks it point and does not drag you along any unnecessary plotlines which detract from the focus. Unfortunately, it leaves some motives behind the characters unexplored and leaves the viewer a bit…empty feeling at the conclusion. Not because it’s missing any closure, but because we can’t quite comprehend why any of these events were really put in motion (or I just totally missed the mark while watching the film.)
Now, the film’s greatest strength might be its greatest weakness. The film is spearheaded by the physical feats of Gina Carano (shout out Dallas native!) who is AMAZING at fighting. Her brutal physicality makes the film totally worth watching. Gina is a trained mixed martial arts and Muay Thai fighter, and the asswhipings she delivers on screen are breathtaking. Soderbergh decided to make absent any music or sound effects from the fight sequences, which was perhaps the smartest decision in the whole film, as we are mesmerized by real life lightning fast moves and the sounds of fists landing with a vengeance!
Unfortantely, Gina is more of a fighter and less of an actress, for now at least. She’ll need a bit of artistic training before her spoken words can measure up to those of the all star cast that worked alongside her in this film. I have faith she’ll get there, she’s a gorgeous bombshell asskicker, she’ll be going places real soon. But, because the rest of the film is filled with Hollywood elites (McGregor, Banderas, Douglas, Fassbender, PAXTON!!!, and a surprisingly believable Channing Tatum), her novice state as an actress stands out.
I believe Soderbergh felt like making a low budget indie feel conspiracy drama with big names. Which essentially meant to me that the film couldn’t find its soul. A cast of unknowns featuring the fighting performances of Ms. Carano would have made a greater impact. In the instant case though, while she did what she did best, she was a bit underscored by big name actors doing what they do best.
Still, it is a solid film with a solid performance that should be viewed as a showcase of Gina Carano. She truly is phenomenal at what she does…and I hope she feels I’m giving her sufficient praise because, well, she could totally kill me in 2 seconds flat.
Releases this Friday!