First Hit:  Although the story is not very strong, Gina Carano is good as a private intelligence action contractor.

I saw two action films with women as the lead characters this weekend and the primary difference is believability of their skills.

Mallory (played by Gina Carano) is a contractor for hire. She will provide protection, rescue hostages, or anything for a price. She’s a former Marine as was her hero father Mr. Kane (played by Bill Paxton).

The filmmakers made enough of this backstory making her skills and intensity believable.

The film begins with her sitting in a booth drinking a cup of tea. The intensity on her face tells the whole story, she’s in the middle of a story and we are slowly invited in. One thing I noticed was that there were no opening credits, which was nice.

The basic story is that she is set up to be eliminated along with a Chinese hostage she is supposed to rescue. However, Paul a British intelligence officer (played by Michael Fassbender) who is the guy that has to kill her soon realizes that this is going to be difficult. At every turn there are people after her and she takes care of business in a reasonable fashion.

Towards the end she’s offered a legitimate job with the US Government but she has a revenge streak in her and therefore until she finishes the people who tried to finish her, she isn’t taking the job.

Carano is fully capable of making this role hers and she does an outstanding job of having me believe she was capable of all her moves. Fassbender was good as the British MI agent. Antonio Banderas, as Rodrigo, did a nice minor turn as the instigator of the films events. Channing Tatum, as fellow free agent Aaron, fits his role well. Paxton is wonderful in his small role as Carano’s father. Michael Douglas, as Coblenz, was good as the government man pulling the strings. Ewan McGregor, as Kenneth the leader of the outside contracting agency, seemed lost in his part. Lem Dobbs wrote an OK script in that it held together enough although it wasn’t powerful. Steven Soderbergh did a great job of taking a moderate script and making this film work interestingly.

Overall: This film was fun and enjoyable to watch because the main character made it work.