Guest Post written by Sam Moore
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum
Length: 93 mins
Release Date: January 20, 2012
Genre: Action, Thriller
Steven Soderbergh once again shows his versatility as a filmmaker by creating an effective, if formulaic revenge thriller.
The first striking thing about this is the way the score is used. I’ll admit right off the bat: I wasn’t a fan of the score, because it didn’t seem right tonally. The fight scenes in the film, interestingly enough, are where no score is used, which makes them much more effective and, to a point, realistic.
Carano’s lead performance was nowhere near as bad as I expected. While it’s obviously not the film’s best performance, it was a refreshingly layered take on an action lead, bringing elements like a slight but necessary element of vulnerability to a role that could have been done very badly.
It is crafted in a way that seems rather stylised, which is reflected in its editing, shots, and fight choreography, with the latter being fluid, stylish and very fun to watch.
The real highlight is its supporting ensemble, featuring actors from Antonio Banderas to Michael Douglas. It is through these actors that the film has its greatest moments, as the way they portray their very ‘stock’ characters seems to refresh them, and make them much more interesting to watch.
The film’s main weakness is its pacing. While it runs for just over ninety minutes, it unfortunately feels slightly longer, perhaps because it moves back to a framing device (that then becomes the place from which the narrative advance) instead of simply telling the story in a linear way, which would have been much more effective.
While the film does begin to break from formula, it does so rather late in. However, shortly after, the seemingly rushed storytelling grinds to a halt and then just stops.
A thriller that is regrettably formulaic, but filled with style and given extra substance from its ensemble of excellent actors.
Filed Under: Reviews