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Film Reviews: Haywire (2011) and How I Spent my Summer Vacation (2012)
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Haywire (2011). Directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film starts in a diner. A woman (Gina Carano) is sitting and waiting. A man (Channing Tatum) joins her and after a short conversation orders that she leaves in his car. She refuses and he then attacks her. The woman fights back, with both clearly having some form of training, and eventually incapacitates the man after he pulls a gun and tries to shoot her. She takes the gun, a waiter, and his car. Haywire's a stylish, sexy, and rather confusing thriller; within the first few minutes there are already four timelines relating to the main character. Part of the fun though for me was in trying to keep up with the well paced story. There's a fair smattering of action, mostly in the form of well choreographed fights, between the various sections of intrigue. Carano is superb as the complex main character, and supported by a strong cast e.g. Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton and Michael Douglas. A sharp and cool soundtrack by David Holmes adds to the ambience. Recommended for those who like intelligent and stylish thrillers. 5/5 (Excellent)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation (2012). Directed and co-written by Adrian Grunberg. The film opens with two criminals in clown masks in a car being chased by the police following a robbery. They are quite literally on the border between the USA and Mexico, and the driver (Mel Gibson) desperately tries to escape by partly jumping and partly going through the border fence. When the Mexican police discover the car is full of money they immediately arrest the driver. His partner dies from a gunshot wound. The corrupt police steal the money, and the driver ends up in El Pueblito, a prison that is essentially a small town. I thought Get the Gringo was a good mostly revenge flick. Gibson is on reasonably good form as the downtrodden semi-hero. There's a strong supporting cast with a mix of mostly unknowns. The story has a good pace and plenty of content. If you like a reasonably intelligent action film then you should enjoy this. 4/5 (Good)
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