(director/writer: Steven Soderbergh; screenwriter: Lem
Dobbs; cinematographer: Steven Soderbergh;
editor: Steven Soderbergh; music: David
Holmes; cast: Gina
Carano (Mallory Kane), Ewan McGregor (Kenneth), Michael
Fassbender (Paul), Michael Douglas (Coblenz), Channing
Tatum (Aaron), Antonio Banderas (Rodrigo), Bill Paxton
(Mr. John Kane), Michael Angarano (Scott), Mathieu
Kassovitz (Studer), Anthony Brandon Wong (Jiang);
Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Gregory Jacobs;
"If you're a fan of the action-thriller genre, Soderbergh superbly nails what thrills it takes for those films to work so well."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Talented director Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic"/"Magic Mike"/"Contagion") co-writes with Lem Dobbs and does movie magic with the hackneyed double-cross of secret agents plot line to re-invent the low-concept B-film genre for his own devious artistic purposes, while using the same stale plot line. Soderbergh takes us on a roller coaster ride and creates a well-acted, technically proficient and highly enjoyable slick Hollywood thriller, that couldn't be more familiar to a mainstream audience. It refreshingly stars mixed martial arts superstar and “American Gladiators” cast member Gina Carano, who in her film debut gives a kickass performance as she gloriously fights her way through the pic with original live or die savage fight scenes as a freelance black-ops agent for a government security contractor. Carano performs her own stunts. If you're a fan of the action-thriller genre, Soderbergh superbly nails what thrills it takes for those films to work so well.
Ex-Marine Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a respected and efficient
covert-ops specialist who is part of a team that frees
Chinese journalist Jiang from being held hostage in a
safe house in Barcelona, to only find that her slimy
ex-boyfriend and private contractor boss Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) sets her up on a Dublin
operation to be whacked by MI 6 agent Paul (Michael Fassbender). Mallory shows her
fighting skills by taking down Paul's surprise assault
in a luxury Dublin hotel and then after escaping from
Dublin contacting the American security contractor
the sneaky agent head who led the Barcelona rescue
operation and should know why the double-cross.
In snowy upstate New York,
Mallory in a rural diner punches the living daylights
out of colleague Aaron (Channing Tatum), who is tracking her down
for Kenneth and escapes a police trap by car jacking a
diner patron's (Michael Angarano) car.
Before turning the tables
on her enemies, Mallory visits the only one she
trusts: her action writer former Marine dad (Bill Paxton), living in an isolated
mountain-top lodge in New Mexico.
Things get clearer about
why the double-cross, as the characters of Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas) and Studer (Mathieu Kassovitz) are expanded.
I found it as much fun as any Hitchcock or James Bond thriller, and I'm willing to bet that Carano could take out most male action stars in a real combat scene.
REVIEWED ON 7/15/2012 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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