“I don’t wear the dress.”
“Oh, you shouldn’t think of her as a woman – that would be a mistake.”
Haywire may lag in places between its exciting set pieces and Gina Carano may need some time to work on her dialogue delivery, but the smartest thing this film delivers is a refreshing inversion and negation of the clichés of what women *usually* do in action movies. In a standard action flick, locales like the streets of Barcelona, a posh hotel room in Dublin, or the beach in Mexico, usually give the male lead a chance to cozy up to his sexy co-star and get some action-action. But in these same environs, Gina Carano does not stop to banter cutely with her dishy co-stars (Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender). She spends 100% of her time evading, chasing, and pummeling, as capable and confident and focused as her closest male movie star equivalent, Jason Statham (except his movies are never lucky enough to be written by Lem Dobbs). So as long as Carano has someone to chase, evade or pummel, the movie stays entertaining.
Despite the controversy around her voice, one should hope that Hollywood gives Gina Carano more chances to mash faces into a pulp. How many more utterly underwritten milquetoast girlfriend characters must we female fans of the action genre endure just to see a few car chases or fight scenes? That stuff is simply lazy writing and downright nonsense: give me more of Gina Carano and her powerful feminist fists.*
*Here’s a Michael Fassbender gif in reward for reading all the way to the end