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Daily Archives: January 19, 2012
At one point, late in Steven Soderbergh‘s globe-trotting thriller “Haywire,” two men plan a murder. One is the intended victim’s employer and the other a killer-for-hire with a dangerous past. The killer takes a sip of whiskey, hesitating. He admits he’s never killed a woman before. The employer waves that off. “You shouldn’t think of her as being a woman. No, that would be a mistake.” That ominous warning works as a joke, but it also works as a real assessment of “Haywire” star Gina Carano, a mixed martial arts fighter the director saw on TV one night while idly channel surfing. As he said at the film’s L.A. premiere, “I saw Gina Carano beat up a woman in a cage, and I thought ‘The only way this could be better is if she were beating up a male movie star.’” He was smiling as he said it. You’ll be smiling as you watch.
When a filmmaker who needs no introduction gives us a leading lady who does, it’s tempting to write the result off as a gimmick, a ruse, a delusion. And Soderbergh, who’s seemed hell-bent on making as many movies as he can before his contemplated “retirement,” is throwing himself into his recent films with a vengeance. Some have said that the director’s recent (digital-video aided) productivity in advance of his retirement is like the alcoholic who intends to walk through the doors of rehab saturated in booze. After his most recent string of films, though, I’m inclined to respond to that the same way Lincoln did when told of Gen. Grant’s drinking problem: Find out what whiskey he drinks, and send his peers a case of it.