If you hate women, this isn't the film for you. If you enjoy seeing a strong, competent, confident female lead kick butt and out-fight and out-smart some morally-challenged men, then you'll love this film.
We enjoyed the fight scenes, the scenery, the pace, the twists and turns. We didn't like the fact that several things were left unexplained / red herrings? (explained in a sequel maybe?) but hey, it was a fun film to watch, and we're going to watch it again this week.
One warning: at one point, a vehicle hits a "deer" BUT the deer looks very, very fake (wobbles like rubber, not much detail on it), so animal lovers can breathe a sigh of relief.
The film starts off in an ordinary way. A young woman goes into a roadside diner and sits down. She orders tea, and in walks a man who goes right over to her, sits down across the table from her. There isn't much small talk (this film isn't big on dialogue over all), he orders a cup of coffee..
and then the guy throws hot coffee in her face and starts laying a beating on her. We thought, "What the ....?" and the other diners look shocked as well. Here's this helpless, petite gal getting beat up by this tall, muscly guy. And this preconception... misconception... and others continue to be shattered throughout the film.
We find the heroine gives better than she gets, and is tough through and through. She's been marked for death, but why, and by whom? We find out through flashbacks what has led to this situation, and it's a plausible, interesting story.
Hard to believe this is Gina Carano's first film. She's tough (in real life too), is 30, and is 5'8", 145 lbs of muscle (stats according to [...]), so right there she's not like so many actresses today (fluffy, whiny, and anorexic). When the film opens, GC looks kind of ratty, but that's the idea. In flashbacks, we get to see her before the fit hit the shan, and she looks smokin' hot.
Bill Paxton (Twister) is understated but excellent in the later part of the film, and does an excellent job of balancing emotions and words, drawing us in even further.
Antonio Banderas, Ewan MacGregor, and Channing Tatum are also excellent.
Over all, a very enjoyable film, and I do hope there is a sequel in the works.
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