Haywire 2011 ★★★

I knew almost nothing about this film going in, other than Soderbergh directing and that Gina Carano used to be an MMA fighter, so there would probably be some action. What I found was a pleasant surprise. The film has a great cast, including Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas, and a few less well respected players like Channing Tatum, although even he holds his own.

The film has a very interesting structure, with the first big action setpiece shown in a gorgeously filmed, almost wordless flashback. Through the second flashback we learn a lot more about Carano's character and why she's on the run, and by the time the timelines intersect, we begin to understand the weight of the conspiracy she's facing.

The biggest weak spot in the film is Carano's performance; a lot of her line delivery seems very flat, even if her face and body are very expressive. I later learned they digitally deepened her voice, which feels like a weird decision to me because it took most of the emotion out of her performance.

Overall, this was a perfectly enjoyable hour and a half. It's artsy yet action-packed, humorous but suspenseful, gorgeously filmed and boasting an interesting minimalist score.

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