The Screenplate: Best-known for his Ocean's series, Steven Soderbergh made his bones as a director of independent films, and has never abandoned the genre. In fact, some of Soderbergh's forays into indie-land (more a style nowadays than an indication that a movie's been produced outside the major studio system) have been experimental to the point where he uses novice thespians in leading roles, such as porn star Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experience and mixed martial artist Gina Carano in his latest film, the action flick Haywire.
Grey was wooden in the former film, which, in turn, induced little in the way of wood among viewers. Yet while Carano is susceptible to stiff line delivery, there's not a seasoned actress on the planet who would have nailed the role of an ultra-violent secret agent so adroitly. If there are any more Tomb Raider sequels in the offing, Carano, and not Angelina Jolie, should be cast as Lara Croft.
In essence, Haywire is a slightly slower, simpler, lower-tech version of the Bourne franchise, with the central character's gender reversed. Carano doesn't pick on people her own size--she picks on men who are far bigger than she, like Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender. (By the way, has Fassbender been cloned? How else to explain the number of movies he's appeared in over the past several months?)
While no onscreen fucking is shown, Soderbergh sustains a modicum of sexual tension throughout, with Carano the hunter, and the likes of Tatum her more-than-willing prey. When she's being pursued--by bounty hunters, not suitors--and her safety is dependent upon not being noticed, Carano is so striking that she must ultimately resort to covering her face in camouflage makeup.
But if Haywire were set in Seattle, all she'd have to do is hunker down in front of a burger at the Chieftain, the first proper Seattle U bar that Seattle U has had in decades. The co-eds have clearly taken to the place. And they, being less susceptible to metabolic cruelty as they will be in their thirties, boast the sort of youthful sheen that could render Carano just another pretty face.