Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gina Carano Goes 'Haywire' in the Opening Scene of Steven Soderbergh's New Action Flick

The opening scene of Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming action film Haywire was recently posted over at Hulu.  It gives viewers but a taste of the brutal fisticuffs that await them come opening day.  It takes place in a diner, where Gina’s character Mallory Kane has her morning coffee interrupted by Aaron (Channing Tatum).  It starts out in a fairly mundane manner, with Tatum delivering his lines in drowsy fashion (I can’t tell if he’s doing so intentionally or if he’s simply being himself).  At the 3:07 mark, the things suddenly erupt into a brutal and destructive scrap.  The lead character is mercilessly beaten before turning the tables and her opponent and pounds him into the linoleum.

The musical score sounds lifted from a 1970’s cop show or detective movie.  Interestingly, the action plays out completely free of musical accompaniment. That choice greatly enhances the animalistic brutality.  The way that Aaron tears into Mallory is stunning indeed, and totally justifies the unexpected heroics of the Good Samaritans that come to her aid.     Even a waitress gets in on the act.  There is a hint of humor lying just underneath, though it’s unclear whether that is intentional or not.  This is the kind of extreme violence that will elicit winces from some and nervous laughter from others.

Careno’s background as an MMA fighter helps with the suspension of disbelief, as does her athletic physique.  Still, the issue of a 145 pound woman being able to dispatch larger male opponents in such a manner hangs heavy over the proceedings.  Could even a highly trained female operative perform the way Careno does here?  I’m willing to suspend disbelief if I can get a few decent fights scenes out of it, but that may be a problem for other audience members who are sticklers for realism in these kinds of films.  I’m also curious as to how Soderbergh’s approach will suit this kind of material.  The snarky tone of the Ocean’s Eleven films is somewhat different from what Haywire seems to be attempting.  I’m a sucker for martial arts and gunplay, so I figure it’s worth the price of admission to find out.


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