Haywire (15)

Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor

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The Independent Culture

Steven Soderbergh has had a look at the Bourne movies and reckoned that anything Matt Damon can do, Gina Carano can do better. Who? Ms Carano is apparently "the face of Women's Mixed Martial Arts", and she turned up to Soderbergh's audition sporting a black eye from a recent fight. A star was born. In this all-kicking, full-throttle international thriller she plays covert operative Mallory Kane, double-crossed by her paymasters and now out for revenge. From the way she dispatches Channing Tatum in the opening set-piece at a diner you wouldn't want to mess with this one: Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Antonio Banderas will all rue the day they did.

Soderbergh location-hops between Barcelona, Dublin and New Mexico, whipping the action along at a breakneck pace that hardly allows pause to ask, "What the heck's going on?" David Holmes's jazz-fusion score (nods to The Ipcress File) provides an engaging accompaniment. I'm not sure Carano has great expressive technique as an actor, but she's very watchable as the nutsack-punching, rooftop-leaping street commando. Angelina Jolie should watch out.