I was flipping through the movie channels the other day when I came across In the Blood, starring Gina Carano. The plot is pretty basic. Carano and her husband, played by Cam Gigandet, are on their honeymoon in the Caribbean. At first, it’s all lovely–Gigandet is wealthy and his family has a nice home on the island where the newlyweds frolic and fuck. They meet a local and go dancing. They have more sex. And then, the husband disappears during a ziplining accident. Carano has to find him! But she is thwarted by corrupt police! And gangsters! And his suspicious family!
In the Blood is not a good movie, really, but it is watchable. Carano is a great MMA fighter and always acquits herself well in an action movie even though she is not the most compelling actor to grace the silver screen. The reason the husband disappears is so ludicrous it starts to make sense like a motherfucker.
All that said, this movie surprised me, pleasantly, because she was the white knight. Her husband was a nice enough fellow, but he was the pretty one, always in peril. His wife had to kick ass to save him. She kicked ass to defend herself. She was capable and assured. When she wanted information, she got it, often ruthlessly. She didn’t apologize for being kick ass, didn’t compromise her femininity, and also allowed herself to be loved. I enjoyed every moment of it. The movie made me realize how goddamned rare it is to see women empowered and coming to the aid of an attractive man. All too often, it is the woman imperiled that serves as the plot device.
Early in the movie, the newlyweds are dancing at a nice club when a man, played by Danny Trejo, gets a little too cozy with Gina. Instead of the husband sputtering macho nonsense, Gina flips out and basically beats up everyone in the night club. Her husband looks at her, astonished because he did not know he married a ninja. Anyway, In the Blood, basically a feminist movie. Check it out.
P.S. What are you seeing this weekend?
Roxane Gay is the editor of The Butter.