Steven Soderbergh’s action-thriller is fun to watch, but they’re a few problems which knocks it down a notch. The thing that really bugged me is the technique that left it all murky until the end. Motivations and who’re the good guys and who’re the bad guys. There’s such a thing as taking the concept of leaving the audience in the dark too far. This kind of thing adds confusion in the guise of suspense. This was really egregious here.
With the all-star cast (Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor), the acting was surprisingly bland. I’ll cut Gina Carano (Mallory Kane) some major slack. Given the fact that she is not an actor, she acquitted herself quite adequately. And let’s face it, she wasn’t there for her acting ability, but for her abilities as a Muay Thai MMA specialist. There are plenty of fight sequences and they are all good. There’s even the obligatory showdown on the beach, surf cascading in, which has become an iconic addition to films of this type.
The murky plot is of the world of assassinations, contract spies and covert ops. If there’s a message to the film it’s that you double cross Gina Carano at your peril. Besides the surf showdown, there’s a nice rooftop sequence and a chase through the streets. This ia a substitute, and a wise one, for the car chase sequence. There’s another sequence where Mallory commandeers a car and its driver, and tells him the story of what’s going on. This was a great idea, but the execution was lacking. Another missed opportunity.
If you like these types of action flicks, you should go for this, especially with the added twist of female MMA action at its best.