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Haywire Review

Kieran’s Rating: 2/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 4.8/10
(2 reviews total)

The trailer for Haywire presented itself as a fun action-packed B-movie homage with A-list caliber talent, but what we get is a very bland, boring movie that fails as an action flick and as a thriller and should have been confined to straight-to-DVD hell.

Mallory (Gina Carano) is a former marine and a private contractor for a security company. She is a professional ass-kicker and her skills are in high demand, which leads her to leave her current employer, Kenneth (Ewan McGregor). But on a mission in Dublin she is set up as a murderer and nearly killed. Mallory has to go the run and get revenge against Kenneth and anyone he is working with.


Gina Carano is obviously an accomplished martial artist and the action scenes were very brutal, raw and hard-hitting. She is able to hold her own despite the intial shock of seeing grown men putting a beating on her. There’s a nice moment when Carano enters her first fight against Channing Tatum and the music stops and you end up just watching two people having a gritty fight in which anything goes. But the music dropping out during the other fights quickly loses its impact to the point that the final fight is extremely anti-climactic.

Steven Soderbergh is of course a respected director able to make a movie in almost any genre. But he can be very hit and miss at the same time. Haywire goes squarely in the miss category.  His direction was very underwhelming. Haywire is slow, poorly paced and the action scenes are too few and far between. Rather than being an action movie it comes off as an uninteresting and very cheap-looking spy flick. The best bits of the movie are in the very misleading trailer. The plot is unremarkable, there is no real intelligence nor any character development whatsoever.


Most of the actors throughout the movie were on autopilot and their performance reflected that, most of them being very boring. After trying to make porn star Sasha Grey into a legitimate actress, Soderbergh tries the same with Carano to no avail. It is clear that Carano is not a trained actress and she lets her fists do the talking. Her character was almost like Lisbeth Salander: cold, distant and clinical. The few times she speaks, her delivery is stiff. Tatum looked and sounded like he was drunk during the movie and McGregor and Michael Douglas were just so dull. Only Michael Fassbender comes out with some credit.

The score by David Holmes is one of the worst and most misjudged I have ever heard. It sounds like a bad jazz album set to a ’60s spy series, which doesn’t fit the film’s tone at all.

Although many see this film as an attempt to “take back action cinema” or as a great example of female empowerment and a woman showing her credentials as a action hero, Kill Bill, Hanna and Kick-Ass are much better movies with strong ass-kicking female characters. Don’t bother with Haywire.


Simon thought: “As a showcase to debut the “next big action star,” Haywire succeeds unequivocally. As for everything else,  Soderbergh’s latest is pretty much paint-by-numbers, with a few perfunctory stylish directorial flourishes tossed in—apparently for good measure. Thankfully for Haywire, Gina Carano is on screen in almost every scene and boy does she own every frame of them. I don’t think ever before have I believed a girl capable of dealing out such brutal punishment, not Angelina Jolie in Salt, not Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, not anybody. The pace itself is a tad languid, but there are enough kinetic, bone-crunching skirmishes to compensate, and the revenge plot offers more meat than average action fare. I hope that the so-so box-office performance does not stunt Carano’s rise to stardom, because as far as I’m concerned, she can be the female killing machine in all my shoot ‘em ups.” Rating: 7.5/10

Rating
4.8

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