Friday, January 20, 2012
Female assassins seem to be in vogue. Last year I had to sit through two less than enjoyable entries in the genre: 'Hanna' and 'Columbiana'. (I even watched 'Hanna' a second time after hearing so many other critics raving about it. I didn't enjoy it any more than the first.) And now we have Mixed Martial Arts champion Gina Carano kicking ass. Why? After 93 minutes of watching her, I'm still not sure I can tell you. And I was trying to pay attention, I swear. It's something about being double-crossed by her 'black ops' employer. Blah, blah, blah. It doesn't matter, the plot is paper thin. This one's all about the fight sequences, and to me it's a giant bore. I didn't fall asleep, but I surely struggled not to as this film meandered from one pointless, unexciting fight scene to the next. Eventually my pain came to an end with an ending as unsatisfying as the beginning and middle. Three big mysteries remain, however. First, how did such a bore-fest come from the skilled directing of Steven Soderbergh? Second, how did this script attract such a stellar supporting cast of relatively small parts filled by Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton?? (Although the fact that it was directed by Soderbergh may answer that.) And third, and perhaps most bizarre, why were some people in the audience cheering at the end? (These were undoubtedly the same people who cheered at the end of 'Hanna'.) Watching this movie gave me flashbacks to another disaster of cataclysmic proportions that had a lot of potential: 'The Men Who Stare at Goats', also with McGregor. (Another one like these two and I may have to recall my tribute to him.)
To be clear, early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are quite favorable and it's clear some may really have a good time. But I didn't care for it and recommend skipping it unless you really liked 'Hanna', in which case you should stop listening to my opinions because we obviously don't share the same taste.