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So Sharni Vinson is set to join Katee Sackhoff, and Gina Carano in what is being called "the female 'Expendables'" by everyone writing about it?
You won't hear any argument from me.
I think Carano was a badass in "Haywire" and her fights with Michelle Rodriguez are one of the best things about "Furious Six." Sackhoff is great in "Riddick," and talking to her at Comic-Con this year, watching her on that remarkable "Women Who Kick Ass" panel, I'm impressed all over again.
For most people, today is their first chance to see Sharni Vinson in action. For those of us who have been talking about "You're Next" for the last two years, it's simply the inevitable next step that comes from people seeing what a spectacular "final girl" she makes. She gives an authentic performance, and when she snaps into action, you believe it.
I wish they'd name the damn film already and stop calling it "The female 'Expendables'" everywhere. I'm unfamiliar with Dutch Southern, who's writing the film, so at this point, there's nothing else to really react to. Producer Adi Shankar is a guy who's been working nonstop for the last three years or so, with his name on "Machine Gun Preacher," "The Grey," "Killing Them Softly," "Dredd." I think it's really interesting that he did "The Punisher: Dirty Laundry," which is basically one of the slickest fan films of all time. It's directed by Phil Joanou, and it stars Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman. He followed that up with "Venom: Truth In Journalism," directed by Joe Lynch and starring Ryan Kwanten. They're both part of what he calls his "bootleg universe," and they're fun.
Here's "Punisher: Dirty Laundry":
Here's "Venom: Truth In Advertising," which uses the jet black comedy "Man Bites Dog" as a jumping-off point. I am impressed by just how odd an approach this is to a character I normally don't like at all. Both of these go beyond what I normally think of as "fan films," and the idea that a guy who is also making movies like the ones listed above is doing this for fun is encouraging.
Also? Great use of Derek Mears.
I hope whatever the film is, it's not just a gimmick. I think all of these women are great when you give them something real to play. I hope the film allows them kick tons of ass but that it also finds something else that makes it compelling and cool. It's not enough to just give them guns or teach them martial arts. For me, any action film, no matter who is starring or what gender they are, comes down to giving me a reason to invest in the stakes, and good characters is still the cheapest way to do that. Here's hoping.
In the meantime, "You're Next" is open now.