Beautiful freelance covert operative Mallory Kane is hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can’t authorize and heads of state would rather not know about. After a mission to rescue a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is quickly dispatched on another mission to Dublin. When the operation goes awry and Mallory finds she has been double crossed, she needs to use all of 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.

“Actress,” “model” and “mixed martial arts fighter” are not adjectives we often see put together to describe one person, but that’s how Wikipedia describes Gina Carano, the star of the upcoming movie HAYWIRE. According to Wikipedia, Carano “appeared as the Gladiator ‘Crush’ on American Gladiators” and “…has been referred to as the ‘Face of Women’s MMA.'”

Gina CaranoMedia coverage is comparing HAYWIRE to THE BOURNE IDENTITY, minus the memory loss angle. While I’m an advocate of more female leads in action movies, historically those actresses aren’t willing to put on the muscle required to suspend disbelief, probably because it’s a sad stereotype that strong women aren’t beautiful. Carano shows us how wrong this thinking is as someone who not only looks the part, but actually has the skills in real life that make her acting stunts seem that much more realistic. Carano is the first actress I’ve seen since Linda Hamilton in THE TERMINATOR to back up an action role with some real muscle.

The movie’s summary starts right out of the gate describing Carano’s character as “Beautiful freelance cover operative…” because it’s paramount to make sure audiences know that while she might be able to kick ass, she’s still beautiful. Looking back, Matt Damon’s character in THE BOURNE IDENTITY wasn’t described as literally, just a man: “[A] man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and without memory, then races to elude assassins and recover from amnesia.” By contrast, the trailer voice over starts off right away describing her as “[S]He’s our nation’s most valuable weapon…”

So, I’m torn. I’m glad there’s a movie coming out that showcases a woman who can show us what a woman in a single combat situation would really look like and I’m glad that her strength is also seen as something beautiful. However, I’m annoyed that her beauty is the very first thing that seems most important before her job expertise — or even THE BOURNE IDENTITY example her just as a human being in a tough situation. Hopefully, Carano’s performance can twist these two together in a new way.

Also, Wonder Woman casting…hello? Click on that link to check out a great drawing by Matt Roscetti with Carano as Wonder Woman.

Many thanks to M.R. for cluing me into this movie.

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Fiona GlenanneI’m switching up the usual Danger Gal installment this week for some excellent conversation about women in television dramas in general and Burn Notice’s Fiona Glenanne in particular.

Earlier this week, I tweeted an article by Amanda Marcotte for The Good Men Project called “How to Make a Critically Acclaimed TV Show About Masculinity.” The Good Men Project endeavors to show us “a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century” and analyze “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?”

I wish more of us were having these types of discussions about how in flux and often confusing gender roles can be in today’s world. While we have an unprecedented opportunity to redefine how women and men relate to one another and to the world at large, many people are scared silly not knowing what are “the rules.” The old rules might have been draconian, but at least everyone was on the same page. Still, I’m optimistic that all we need to do is keep sorting through it all with endeavors like The Good Men Project because we’re all re-evaluating each other and ourselves regardless of gender. Oh yeah, and Feminism isn’t just about women, it’s about all of us.

Now that I’ve gotten that soapbox moment out of my system, Marcotte’s post on television and masculinity made one particularly interesting point regarding the perceived lack of strong female protagonists in television dramas:


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“Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.”

Via Wikipedia.

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