Outside a maximum security prison, a U.S. Marshal removes his sunglasses and heads to the building. With two other guards carrying chains, they walk down the hallway until they reach Demi Lovato’s cell. The bright light from the flashlights wakes her. With the two guards behind her, she is led to an interrogation room. She looks up at the camera, filming her. The U.S. Marshal shows her what she needs to get out there: get a wanted woman (Michelle Rodriguez). Lovato remains tough and keeps her eyes straight ahead. She signs the paper for her pardon and slides it across the table. As one of the marshals brand her, she pretends not to feel it. She watches as the smoke drifts from her arm.
Dressed in all black, she straps some ammunition to her belt and a gun to her leg. She grabs a gun and walks out of the prison, with guards following her the entire time. She watches the woman with her binoculars as she puts materials in her car. She and the other marshals approach the woman, who opens a briefcase. In it, a screen shows the same U.S. Marshal who granted Lovato’s pardon. Lovato is confused at the betrayal. The woman smirks. The marshals pull at Lovato’s arms. However, she headbutts one of them and knocks the other one out. The woman checks out her palm as Lovato swings the guards around on the floor. Unable to dodge a kick from one of the guards, she slides into a warehouse. The woman holds the handcuffs by her finger. Lovato smacks her in the face. The woman responds with just as strong punch and then grabs Lovato’s neck. Lovato tries to knock the woman to the ground but the woman subdues her. She puts her boot onto Lovato’s face and puts on the handcuffs. Lovato puts her hand into a fist. On television, she is shown being escorted into a prison van, stating that she committed treason against the United States.
Inside the white prison bus, Lovato fiddles with her handcuffs and eyes the guard’s gun in his pocket. The woman drives behind the bus, ensuring Lovato is put back into jail. Lovato gets the gun and unhooks herself from the chains. She shoots the door open. The woman can’t believe she got out. Lovato throws the gun out the escape door and jumps onto the woman’s car, breaking the windshield. She puts her foot on the pedal of the woman’s car but she is thrown from the windshield instead.
The woman steps out of her truck as Lovato gathers her bearings. Out of breath, Lovato punches the woman, who dodges it. The woman punches her back, landing Lovato on the street again. The U.S. Marshal watches as the two women destroy each other. After another series of punches from the woman, she grits her teeth. However, her sleeve pulls up, revealing that she’d been branded. The woman pauses and then rolls up her sleeve, showing that she was branded by the marshal also. The women shake hands, planning to work together. The U.S. Marshal gets up from his seat.
Lovato hops into the woman’s truck and they ram into the marshal’s office. They fight off the guards. Lovato holds the U.S. Marshal while the woman shows him the handcuffs. He is hauled off by the police, saying he didn’t do it while the news reports it.
Lovato gets one of her motorcycle and nods at the woman. The woman smiles. They put on their helmets and drive off.
There is a lot going on the video. Sure, it’s mostly action but there’s subtext underneath all the fighting. Lovato starts out being told what to do by a stronger, much more powerful man who promises her freedom. She is pitted against another woman, who she believes is her enemy. As she learns, the real enemy was the U.S. Marshal who let her out in the first place and took advantage of her.
But she won’t leave quietly. She goes after the woman. However, once the other woman knows they share the same secret, they stop attacking each other. In the end, the U.S. Marshal goes to jail and the women are truly free.
The women are strong. Lovato doesn’t take any crap and neither does the woman. Both are equals and won’t back down. Nonetheless, they still fall into trap of fighting each other because it’s what they have been taught. But they are the same. When they do shake hands, they are finally overcoming all the myths they have bought into about themselves. By working together, they defeat their main enemy: the man, who holds all the power and likes to play with their lives. He represents every backwards, entitled male who believes a woman’s sole purpose is to feed him and make babies.
Director: Robert Rodriguez Year: 2015
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