AV Club's 100 best films of the decade thus far.
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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
It could have been a great movie, but already in the beginning its flat. Not even the good actors can fix it.
Stag party double header of tough women in movies, we backed up Spring Breakers with Soderbergh's hit and miss (but mostly hit) tale of a female assassin who kicks some serious arse from a Lem Dobbs written non-linear script. If we needed a reminder not to grope the girls drawn to the fun loving guy in the "bride to be" sash then this was it; women are amazing and they'll smash you up just like Gina Carano did to Channing Tatum here, so even when she playfully pulls her top down to give you a look, that doesn't mean you can touch them.
So I guess Steven Soderbergh is (was?) just better at making movies than everyone else? This is a lean, tight thriller with relatively modest ambitions, but that everything about it works just about perfectly. Gina Carano may not be the most natural performer of dialogue, but she is incredibly well suited for everything else the film asks of her.
Also, since I saw this for the first time, I've actually stayed at the hotel where she beats the shit out of Michael Fassbender. That was a cool moment of recognition.
An ACTION! film. Experimental, yet fun.
Hostias como portazos, elenco de actores guapos a los que le aplauden la carita, Steven Soderbergh. Win-win-win.
My admiration for Soderbergh continues. This is a deceivingly simple film, there isn't much of a plot nor character-building. But Soderbergh makes it all very interesting when the focal point is on Gina Carano's character.
The film is fast-paced, slick and dangerously sexy. It isn't a particularly great film, but considering it's intent and compared to other film of the same genre it is miles ahead.
Once again it proves my thesis that Steven Soderbergh is/was the modern equivalent of Howard Hawkes!
He can disappear in every type of genre, put his own spin on it, leaves his mark and make it immensely entertaining.
Soderbergh is one my favourite directors without a doubt!
loved even more because it seemed to approach what kingsman might have been trying to approach regarding violence in the spy genre so much better. decided i was going to do my dissertation on the topic after watching this and i want haywire to have a starring role <3 <3 <3
stephen soderbergh love just grew & grew the whole time watching it. feel like michael fassbender was actually pretty much entirely wasted though.
every fight scene is electric, cold & hard & real. never glamorous and I think exactly as it should be. the whole thing actually, exactly as it should be. neat storytelling technique too, flashbacks worked well without being corny and i felt like i got up to date at just the right time, not too early not too soon. works brilliantly in every way
Hay películas donde ciertas escenas funcionan a la perfección sin musicalización. Todo depende del tipo de film que sea así como de la estética y del tono que maneje, y por más que desde el inicio Haywire imponga su estilo artístico y calculador, se sienten un poco extrañas las escenas de acción sin música y con sonidos diferentes a los usuales. Pero hay que partir de ahí: esta no es una película de acción como las usuales. Muy interesante el tipo de cinematografía que propone Steven Soderbergh en su thriller de espías. Lástima que Gina Carano actúe tan mal. Más allá de eso, muy buena dirección y una historia que aunque ya la hemos visto, se siente renovada. A veces, el cine no se trata tanto de la historia, sino de cómo contamos esa historia
Ugh. The cast does fine for what there given to work with and the fight sequences are well choreographed but Haywire just didn't work for me. There no character development or all that much of a story, its just all action and the film feels lifeless and hollow whenever the action isn't on screen. Gina Carano just isn't a good actress either. Haywire is a boring, dull and unimaginative action thriller that wastes its talented cast.
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