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.'”
Media 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.