Gina Carano could kick your ass. I don’t care who you are. This girl makes the boys from 300 look like a chorus line. She chokes Michael Fassbender with her thighs. She leaves Ewan McGregor to die under a rock. She even makes a Steven Soderbergh movie worth watching. You don’t need to suspend your disbelief when she launches into action. Unlike that string bean Angelina Jolie; Gina does all her own stunts. She’s a Mixed Martial Arts champion, from Dallas County, Texas. Her demeanour is soldierly, through and through. In Haywire, her mission is to beat the crap out of male movie stars. She does so with aplomb. As the tagline says, “They left her no choice.” This girl was born to get into fights.
Starting over isn’t easy. Most of us live with wreckage in our heads. The calamities of the past don’t just get up and walk away; they hang around, like unwanted tenants, drumming on your skull. That’s why people who say “it’s never too late” should be strangled with rainbows. Any trite response should be met with force. As adults, we need to reconcile ourselves with mountains. That takes some doing. Only incipient people can change without stress. For those who’ve lived, change can feel like you’re unravelling. Mike Mills’ new movie, Beginners, is about adults stumbling into a new phase of their lives. They stumble because they’re not ignorant of history. Their new lives are always mindful of the past.
What goes through a movie star’s head when they’re acting in a really generic movie? Are they hoping: maybe it’s not as bad as I think? Or do they know, even as they schlep through yet another tired and derivative scene, that the scene is tired, and derivative, and that some things you just do for money… for a new boat. Deception (the new erotic thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman) is so formulaic it needn’t even have been made. The producers could have written on the poster: “just think of [blank] and save yourself some money!” and even if nothing came to mind, you would be more thrilled than if you’d sat through this machine-tooled piffle.