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Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.
Feels like an art-house action movie. Directed extremely well with many interesting and creative shots and moments. The music is fantastic, as well as the scenes *without* music. Editing is great, cinematography is beautiful. A nice assembly of talented, high-profile actors and a very solid turn by Gina Carano, who is a great screen presence and an absolute force. I truly believe she could kick everybody's ass. The fight choreography is stellar. The scene in the hotel room with Carano and Fassbender might be the greatest hand-to-hand combat scene in film history.
So...what went wrong?
Well, the script is just so god damn awful.
Get the script right, and everything else is icing. Fuck the script up, and all you get is empty calories.
Haywire was an action thriller from the highly regarded Steven Soderbergh back in 2011. It had quite an impressive cast including Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, and Antonio Banderas. It also starred Gina Carano in the lead role, who was a successful Mixed Martial Artist and this film gives her a vehicle to showcase some her impressive fighting techniques, and potentially jump-start her acting career as a female action star.
Carano plays Mallory Kane, a freelance covert operative, who - as part of her firm - is hired to rescue a hostage in Spain. This appears to go according to plan, the mission ends and the hostage is rescued. Mallory is then sent on another mission to…
Haywire, or as it is better known 'Butch chick running around for hours in various cities with cool, swanky, used to death music in the background intermixed with a couple of fight scenes'
Surely there must be a plot? Nope, classic case of style over substance. Films like this need to have some sort of original idea story-wise. Haywire's plot borders on the senile, it is that obtuse. And it clearly thinks its viewers are morons as well as it has the urgent need to explain everything we already know.
I like Soderbergh, but he really overplays his hand here. A film like this cannot justify its existence by style and a supposedly cool soundtrack alone. It has to have suspense, shocks, involvement, in short, a plot. The only teeny, tiny merits I find here are a couple of cool and well-directed fight scenes. And that's it, really.
Despite the rather lukewarm reception I was looking forward to Haywire mainly because it reunited director Steven Soderbergh with screenwriter Lem Dobbs; their first collaboration since the excellent and underrated, The Limey. Sadly something went amiss during this most recent creative partnership.
There is something refreshing about its stripped back and minimalist style. The story may feature the odd double-cross along the way but it is uncomplicated and straight to the point (in fact the explanation for the betrayal is so briskly delivered it is bordering on an afterthought). Stylistically it reminded me of Le Samourai, even in the way characters are so vaguely sketched, yet where Jean-Pierre Melville’s film is a masterpiece this ends up merely being a missed…
I must be honest and say that I had never heard of Gina Carano. Steven Soderbergh's leading lady in this conspiracy thriller certainly has some talent in the kicking arse department, but she isn't the most natural actress in the world. She did the action stuff well and even showed skinnier Hollywood starlets how to fill a pair of jeans and T-shirt with a fuller figure.
Soderbergh's smaller films have always been interesting affairs. From the likes of "The Limey" or "The Good German", very underrated in my opinion, he can take something that isn't exactly cutting edge or topical and make it work. "Haywire" does have a bit of a B-movie feel to it, but has a support cast…
Did anyone ever expect Steven Soderbergh to make a straight up, ass-kicking action picture? As eclectic an auteur he is, very few people undoubtedly saw Haywire coming. Blink and you might miss it though, as Soderbergh gives us a swift, punchy kick to the senses with this globe-trotting espionage thriller, propped up with a truly stunning cast of rising stars, old legends and gifted character actors - seriously, half of Hollywood pops up here, such is Soderbergh's pull, and Haywire remains every inch one of his distinguishable pictures; like an art house Bourne film, set to a jazzy, moody David Holmes score, it assaults you with a quick, clear and visceral story about betrayal, centred around Gina Carano's action heroine…
Gina Carano wrecks dudes. This is my shit, 100%. I even like the narratively sloppy in media res time jump, wherein Mallory tells a random, press-ganged civilian the story so far. It's fun, throwbacky, and utilitarian, and refreshingly unsentimental.
2011. Directed by Steven Soderbergh,
Fully automatic ass kicking cinema, Soderbergh's Haywire is a breath of fresh air into the stagnant graveyard of pointless action films.
Mallory Kane is a black ops specialist who is drawn into a conspiracy after a failed assassination attempt. Moving from one hardcore fight scene to next, Haywire wastes little time with character development and focuses on the formidable Gina Carano's talent: Total physical annihilation. Abandoning any sense of coherence in its endlessly convoluted plot, Haywire rises above the dregs by delivering some of the best choreographed physical mayhem in recent memory.
Haywire is a film that has no business being as good as it is. Soderbergh's mastery of presentation, editing, and scene composition…
Hypothesis: movies are much better when you cast a martial artist or stunt person and train them to act than when you cast an actor and train them to do action.
Evidence: this movie.
Conclusion: I'm right and you know it.
tfw they fight
I'm on a Soderbergh bender. He's one the greatest for a reason.
The ever-eclectic Steven Soderbergh turned his hand to the spy / trained government assassin genre with this action-packed thriller, but the plot is thin, the dialogue is weak and overall it feels very rushed and slapdash (not that I crave perfection all the time but the blown highlights during the Barcelona-set scenes in particular were a problem for me). The colour palette, too, is rather drab: a blue tint for action taking place in the present, a yellow-brown hue for the flashback material, which forms the bulk of the film, all of it subdued due to the vignetting employed. Oh, and Ewan McGregor delivers another one of those terrible mid-Atlantic accents.
Nevertheless, I actually quite enjoyed the film whenever it…
holy fuckin fuck thats the best james bond movie ever
This movie kind of ruined other action movies for me, since I enjoyed it so much. The cast is great and the action sequences are really good. Something about the fighting just feels so real and personal.
The weak link in this film is definitely the story. Has the potential to be great, but ends up being just good. Carano makes for a great action lead and the supporting cast is pretty damn good, but somehow it lacks the last bit.
Films where their style fills the screen so absolutely, substance is but an afterthought.
Only added some that I've seen,…
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Note: some films were reviewed twice, once at a film festival and then were…