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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Over the years, a vocal minority comes back again and again to cry the death of cinema. Hell, Soderbergh himself would agree to some extent as studio output becomes more and more global and limiting projects to brand-based productions. But to the naysayers, there will always be Soderbergh films, and his are the classiest callbacks to cinema of yesteryear. His genre films will hold up even better than his message-based films.
Haywire is all killer, no filler. Gina Carano is the killer and Soderbergh gets a monster performance in non-acting from her, something he can do in his sleep if he wanted. Surrounding her are a number of recognizable faces, all asked to play it low key and it works.…
June Challenge Film #40
I read and heard a lot of hate for this film since it's release, despite a pretty positive critical response. As a fan of Soderbergh, I always knew I would get around to it eventually and today was that day. While I don't understand all the negative talk swirling around Haywire, I will say I found it overall underwhelming compared to some of his other films.
As usual with a Soderbergh film, I enjoyed the style and tone of the film a lot, but the story felt flat and uninspired to me. I felt satisfied when the film ended, but I also knew that it was probably my one and only viewing of Haywire. I can't imagine ever having the urge to experience this again.
Gets a "good" rating for me because it was well made, but without a doubt an underwhelming 3 stars.
Very neat direction, great fighting scenes (something Nolan should learn) and an incredible cast.
I enjoyed Soderbergh's direction but the general script feels a tad lazy.
I heard people raving about this movie last year and even some calling it the best action movie of the year, I like to call this "Wasted Potential: The Movie". We've got Steven Soderbergh who's a pretty solid director with one hell of a stellar cast; there's Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas. None of these actors are used to the potential they can reach and they all just sort of float through this incredibly insipid trash. The action scenes aren't even that great. There's potential there with Carano's brutal fighting and the lack of music helps pull you into the moment by letting you hear every hit, but the directing doesn't bring…
Lacking the propulsive and intrigue-laden narrative of Steven Soderbergh's better films, "Haywire" plays like an exercise in style over substance. The story, dealing with double-crossing government agents, is less important here than the recognizable artifacts of Soderbergh's visual and cinematic signatures.
The director provides his audience with an A-list cast; a funky, 1970s-inspired soundtrack; nonlinear storytelling; and slightly washed-out, yellow-tinged visuals. What he also provides is a story that is never really compels; it is secondary to what is seen onscreen. The film is watchable and punctuated with some bone-crunching action scenes; but, in the final analysis, everything comes off as slight and unimportant, given the story's lack of heft. That may, however, be the point.
This is a really solid Soderbergh film. It is a typical Bourne style spy film, however, it is coupled with some really incredible direction. It does lack substance in many ways but that is to be expected with such a cliched genre, although it would have been nice if he made an attempt to break away from those conventions.
This film has a really fantastic cast, however, even when coupled with Soderbergh's direction it only really ends up being a solid film and nothing more. The only thing that really sets this film apart is Gina Carano who, for someone with almost no experience, is able to pull of an outstanding performance as a leading lady. She is an amazing…
I found the movie to be meh.
thought the fight scenes weren't that good
Soderbergh attempts to bring art-house sensibility to the all-action spy/hero genre. Fails badly.
Enjoyable if inessential Bourne clone which benefits from some kinetic hand-to-hand combat scenes and a nicely understated cast on their best behaviour. Carano is a likeable enough lead. It's a fun enough way to spent an hour and a half but there's nothing really groundbreaking going on.