bennet_7: (Chuck: Our fake kisses)
Last night I saw Haywire which I've been looking forward to for aaaaaages because it is a) a female-led action movie, b) stars an MMA fighter, Gina Carano, who can legitimately kick ass, and c) is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who directed one of my favourite movies Out of Sight.

And I really enjoyed it! I was worried because the reviews, while positive, have not being overwhelmingly so and it was too much too expect first time actor Gina Carano to turn in a brilliant performance*.

*And yet I had my hopes because Soderbergh is frequently great at pulling career best work from unlikely actors. Jennifer Lopez is freaking amazing in Out of Sight. Yes. J.Lo portrays one of my favourite female characters and it is due equally to her performance as to the writing. I'll be sharing Out of Sight soon and if you haven't seen it, I urge you to snag it. (It'll be friends-only but I'm happy to share with others.)

Still, Carano has a really strong presence on screen and is very believable in the role. I think given time and acting lessons she will only improve and I'd like to see her in other films.



Plus Carano is really pretty! Those are leading lady looks there and changeable too. Just in terms of make-up and costuming she appeared different with every cover story. She has more muscle tone than your average wafer thin actress - you believe her when she strangles a guy between her thighs - but she isn't big at all. She could be a star.

Where she excelled was in the fight scenes which are some of the best I've seen in years. CineSnark pointed out that Carano fought like a woman, using leverage and momentum, when most films choreograph masculine fight scenes for women. The scenes are also shot so that you can actually see the action, with very little editing and full bodies in frame. That was wonderful because I really hate the quick cutting and jerky camera work that became so prevalent in the filming of fight scenes after the second Bourne movie.

The plot isn't anything new although it does cohere. There isn't really an emotional arc. This isn't a great movie but if you go in with the right frame of mind its better than most action movies. And hopefully if this does even moderately well it will show that there is a market for female-led action movies. That's been my thinking in paying to see this and Colombiana.

Spoilers )

Earlier today I watched the series finale of Chuck, a show I've never loved but often enjoyed. The last season was so great that I might actually miss it. I'll certainly miss the musical performances of Jeffster! Their final song was A+. You can watch all the others here in one file. I've always been partial to their cover of Toto's "Africa" because I unironically love that song.

Farewell, Chuck.

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February 2012

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