They left her no choice.
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.
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…
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.
Liked this the first time I saw it but have to confess to fighting sleep a bit at the time. (That has a lot to do with parenthood and nothing to do with the film.) Second time around I found myself wishing Soderbergh would make three of these, like he did with the OCEANS movies.
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…
Effortless momentum, the economy of words, perfectly synchronized pursuit, trajectory working in unison with action kinetics. When you reach a certain level of craft, you become a ghost, an elliptical mercenary, gender be damned.
Style alone isn't enough to justify the existence of a film. You need to have something unique and engaging. To the person who wrote the script: I don't think you tried at all.
Two and a half stars for Michael Fassbender punching Gina Carano in the back.
Don't get me wrong I love me some gina carano but this movie is straight cheese. They didn't even use her fighting skills to their full potential! Couple that with a score much like a 70s blaxploitation flick and we have ourselves a stinker.I expected more from you Soderbergh!
It was nice to see an action movie with a strong female role at the head of the cast list. I enjoyed most of this, although it didn't seem to be pushing the envelope at all and the plot seemed under-thought through; the fights, too, tended to be pretty samey. Good fun, but my guess is I'll have forgotten this movie by this time next week.
I enjoy Soderbergh's shtick: quickly-paced, tightly-plotted stories; simple and effective (and sometimes playful) cinematography and shot choices, and the third act flashback that explains everything (annoying with most filmmakers, but it's something I've come to accept in his work).
But something about Haywire just wasn't working. Unlike his other films, the character development was lacking in this and I couldn't find a reason to really care about what was going on. Also, this film may be a little too quickly paced--if I happened to look away for a second I'd miss a crucial plot point.
That being said, the fight sequences in this movie (especially the hotel scene) are some of the coolest I've seen on film.
In the hands…
((The December Challenge 2: Cinema Boogaloo -- Film #3.))
I really liked the unique styles used here -- the lack of sound and music in fight scenes, the constantly switching camera angles, and the colour filters layering the panoramic views of a plethora of cities all around the globe. Visually, it's really interesting and it was kind of refreshing for this reason.
However, the cast feels really underused. When I saw the cast listing I was expecting a little better from what was at work here. Carano displays some pretty neat choreography but she felt kind of flat as the lead. The plot made sense but was a tad too convoluted for me, and also minus points for Channing Tatum.
Overall, too much style over substance here. The characters and plot needed a lot of work.
Bad acting. Weak plot. Snoozefest.
LOVE that cut to black. Rewatching just makes me sad that Soderbergh's done with features - everything he's done in the last decade appreciates on repeat viewings (I can confidently say THE INFORMANT! is a masterpiece) and HAYWIRE is no different. If the film has a weakness, it's Carano's lead when she's doing anything she wouldn't be doing inside the MMA ring, but I found myself kind of enjoying her pedestrian Mallory Kane kicking the shit out of Hollywood's elite this time around. I think the frame device is mostly a misstep - it's possible to tell the story in retrospect without her driving a kid around explaining the story, but besides that it clips along nicely. Is there a genre Soderbergh is incapable of executing? The action is the best and most coherent in recent memory.
A film curiously devoid of any soul, personality or charm that is still kind of fun. There are some great fight scenes and other sequences that show off star Carano's immense physical gifts, and I didn't think she was as bad an actress as others have said - she certainly doesn't get any scenes or lines that require much of her is all. There's also a ridiculous cast and a very convoluted plot, but this isn't a satisfying film. I don't like the Soderbergh digital film look, and like in Traffic he abuses these terrible blue and yellow filters, although has a good knack for shooting action and working with kinetic energy to make some scenes work. But its sparseness and restraint really show how humourless and cold the film is and it's hard to get much out of it - even if its shallow and familiar, it should at least be more fun than it ends up being.
The conceit of the film is interesting, but some of it fell flat for me.