Gina Carano‘s upcoming star turn in Steven Soderbergh’s next action flick will reportedly hit theaters in January, and early impressions are very positive. The movie, now titled Haywire instead of Knockout, had its first test screening earlier this week, and Hollywood Elsewhere passed along a rundown of the plot and Carano’s surprisingly compelling performance:
Mallory Kane (Carano) is young, tough, beautiful, determined, and a freelance covert operative. She is hired out by her handler, Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), to various global entities, to perform jobs which governments can’t authorize and heads of state would rather not know about.
For all her looks and youth, Mallory is still the best in her field, and her skills are in constant demand. But when one of her operations goes awry, Mallory needs to use all her skills, tricks and abilities to escape an international manhunt, make it back to the United States, protect her family, and exact revenge on those that have betrayed her.
The associations that came to mind were (a) any Bourne movie, (b) any Mission Impossible movie, (c) Taken, (d) Michael Clayton, (e) Wanted, (f) Panic Room, (g) Obsessed, (h) The Informant, (i) Body Of Lies, (j) Edge Of Darkness and (k) Red Eye.
First and foremost for me were the strong parallels to The Girlfriend Experience. There are lots of closeups of our female lead, who’s no actress but whose skills in her field probably make her more interesting than a star in the role. And there’s an almost complete lack of affect on her part, and yet, for me, a lot of engagement in her situation…
The fights are great. I’ve been in, and have personally choreographed, a lot of staged violence, and this was quality stuff. It does my heart good to see a young woman really kick ass. The brutality and desperation of the fights, in fact, at times seemed to appall more than thrill the audience, which is as it should be. As I write this (i.e., the following morning) I’m still thrilled.”
Of course, Soderbergh’s movies aren’t guaranteed hits unless they have the word “Oceans” in the title, and it’s not like Haywire has a built-in audience like The A-Team (which kind of bombed, by the way). And in general, January is usually the month when crappy movies are buried by studios. Still, you’re telling me you won’t be camping out to see this one on opening night?