Ex-MMA fighter Gina Carano had dabbled in acting a bit before 2011, but it was Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire that really made her name in the world of action cinema. The director wasn’t the only recognizable name on the picture as he made sure to surround his star in the making with a cast that included Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Fassbender. It wasn’t a big hit by any means, and no one was impressed with Carano’s acting abilities, but action fans took note and looked forward to whatever Hollywood would offer her next.
That whatever turned out to be a supporting role in Fast & Furious 6 and a guest spot on Fox’s Almost Human. If you saw Haywire then you know that’s a bullshit waste of an impressive talent right there.
Fortunately, that dry-spell is coming to an end this year as Carano finally gets a second crack at a leading role filled with ass-kickery. Unfortunately, it’s in a movie that looks to be heading to VOD and/or the direct-to-DVD market. Check out the trailer for In the Blood below.
First off, it looks like Carano’s skills are still on par with what we saw in Haywire. I’m referring to both her acting and her fighting, but while her thespian skills get heat for being fairly non-existent it’s a rather empty complaint for the genre. Hollywood action-film history is built on the backs and bad acting of stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff, Cynthia Rothrock, and others, and I’d argue that Carano’s as good a fighter as a couple of them and even better than the rest.
Those abilities are on display here once again, but what to make of the rest of the trailer? Director John Stockwell looked to be carving a Peter Berg-like career for himself as an actor turned director with films like Blue Crush, Into the Blue, and Turistas, but he soon fell into a series of forgettable films that often didn’t even merit a theatrical release. Early parts of this trailer look capable enough, but some of the later scenes have a truly cheap feel to them.
The cast assembled to support Carano features some recognizable faces, but they’re a few notches down the ladder from the A-listers in Haywire. Danny Trejo, Luis Guzmán, Stephen Lang, Treat Williams, and Cam Gigandet aren’t exactly marquee names, and when combined with Stockwell’s decreased stock the result is a movie that probably won’t be playing a big screen any time soon.