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Mallory Kane (Gina Carano), a Private Military Contractor who does wetwork for the CIA, is betrayed by her employer after a hostage rescue mission in Barcelona. She must then set out to find out why she was betrayed and take revenge on everyone involved.
Carano is a former MMA fighter with a 7-1 win-loss record, primarily in Elite eXtreme Cagefighting. Her background makes her a natural choice for the ass-kicking, hardcase Mallory. Her star-studded supporting cast includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton as her father.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh in his realistic mode, the film was well-received by critics but critically panned by general cinema-goers. It's a spare, fast-moving action movie with no extra fat, realistic explosions and gunplay, and brutally convincing fight scenes, Carano excelling at her own stunts. However, it has also been criticized for a barely-coherent plot, failure to wrap up several loose ends and some unnecessarily long, silent shots of doorways and such.
Contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Mallory Kane, naturally.
- Anachronic Order
- Badass Bystander: In the diner fight, a male bystander wrestles Aaron away from Mallory, and seconds later the waitress smashes a coffee pot over Aaron's head.
- Combat Pragmatist: Everyone. Aaron opens the diner fight by throwing hot coffee in Mallory's face and instantly follows that with a ketchup bottle to the head, and the rest of the fights are similar. The hotel-room fight begins when Paul hits Mallory from the rear, knocking her down.
- Combat Stilettos: Refreshingly averted, (along with Action Dress Rip, Stripperific and other similar tropes) Mallorie takes off her high heels right before going into the hotel room, knowing that Paul was going to attempt to kill her.
- Conspicuous CG: The deer.
- Development Hell: The film was originally set to open around Christmas 2010 but reshoots and a distributor change (from Lionsgate to Relativity) delayed it more than a year. In the process, Steven Soderbergh shot Contagion and it beat this film to theatres by four months.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Don't worry, she's escaped the cops with clever drivi DEER!
- Executive Meddling: The original cut of the film was more brutal and had most of the fight scenes be of the Curb Stomp Battle kind. Reshoots (done a year and a half after the original shoot) made those scenes more even-handed. Also, Gina Carano's voice was dubbed in the final cut.
- Fauxreigner: Paul pretends to be a British secret agent but is revealed to actually be an Irish hitman.
- Gas Mask Mooks: The Garda Síochána Emergency Response Unit. They aren't actually villains per se - just police officers who have been wrongly informed Mallory is a murderer - but they perform this role and the Faceless Goons rule is definitely in effect. When faced with unmasked cops later in the film Mallory surrenders peacefully.
- Hollywood Silencer: Averted. Mallory uses a pillow in front of the muzzle when she shoots Paul but it doesn't make the shot any quieter. It may have been simply to avoid blood/brain splatters.
- Idiot Ball: Kenneth simply does not let go. You'd expect a man in his profession to know a little more than he apparently does when it comes to, say, how to kill a single woman in an exposed cop car in the middle of nowhere, or whether it's a good idea to wander around on a remote beach all alone when you know there's a trained killer after you, or even how to run without getting your foot stuck in a rock.
- Also, when he finds out that Mallory is in the house- which she grew up in- with him and his team, he orders them to search for her. Results in a Mook Horror Show.
- Improvised Weapon: Hot coffee, a ketchup bottle, a fork, the coffee pot...and that's in the first fight. It's about what you'd expect, given the entire cast being Combat Pragmatists.
- Impressive Pyrotechnics: Averted. The few explosions in the film are all small amounts of C4 that detonate with the true-to-life dull boom and a cloud of concrete dust.
- In Dublin's Fair City: The setting for most of the film.
- Karma Houdini: Studer, but Mallory probably deals with him
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: The hotel room fight scene.
- Large Ham: Among skillfully understated performances, Antonio Banderas stands out with his true-to-form overdramatic Spanish accent. This is by no means a bad thing.
- Mook Horror Show: The fight in Mallory's house. The lights are off, she grew up here, and the villains split up. Too Dumb to Live.
- Oh Shit: Rodrigo's line at the end of the film when Mallory drops in on him.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Jiang.
- Sequel Hook: Malory is offered to work directly for the US Government in exchange for information from Michael Douglas' character.
- Quieter Than Silence: You will become painfully aware of what footsteps and clinking cups sound like watching this film.
- Trash the Set: The hotel-room fight manages to break just about everything in the room exept the sofa. Which still gets knocked over.
- Would Hit a Girl: Everyone. Justified, since she's completly capable of beating them up in return