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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 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…
I'm in hospital and had back surgery yesterday and last night this came on the TV and Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender was in it and while I don't really remember the plot, their faces made me happy since I've been in a lot of physical pain so 4 stars from me.
Really enjoyed this one. Soderburgh has a way of crafting such great films that look incredible. So many shots in this are gorgeous. I was a big fan of the score as well. It has this constant beat to it except for the fight which go silent. Adds a sense of realness to the action scenes. Couple that with the fact that Carano is a former MMA fighter and the fight scenes are some of the best I've seen.
Fight scenes aside, it's fairly obvious that this is Carano's first major acting job. Soderburgh does his best to get you looking the other way with a phenomenal supporting cast but there are times when it can't be hidden.
Even with that being said, I really liked this. Need to get down for of Soderburgh's filmography.
If you've ever wondered what Mission Impossible or Kill Bill would have been like if made by Soderbergh, now you have the answer. The fight scenes are pretty efficient but the formulaic plot holds no surprises, with an irregular pacing and apathetic action scenes.
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seen at UA Westbury Stadium 12 (DCP)
I will never tire of the brutal fight scenes in this movie - it's very cathartic to watch a cool, calm and collected lady kick the asses of Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender.
The one thing that I think lets the film down is the 'it's a jolly heist!' cheesy score, which is a mess. Otherwise I adore it.
Have now seen this four or five times and it has grown to be one of my favorite action movies of this decade. Already liked it a lot on first viewing in 2011 but after the last few years of contemporary action movies' inept fighting choreography/sequences, frenetic for frenetic sakes editing and overbearing plotting - this just stands out in its to the point script and clean execution. It's so stylish and delicious.
As soon as the action picks up in whichever scene, whenever, it's always clear what's happening. Running after a bad guy through the streets of Barcelona? Crisp camera movement and placement lets us see how our heroine truly exert herself to keep pace. Just a thing like…
This is a cool film, I guess? Or well, as long as you don’t care about the script. Steven Soderbergh never seem to bother much at least, the plot to Haywire never seem to want to carve out its own figure in the genre it exists in and just indulges in copying existing works to be able to focus on the action. Which leads to the disadvantage of having characters talking empty words about a thin plot and a lot of actors just seem distracting (like Ewan McGregor, who by the way looks like he’s fifteen here) when Soderbergh doesn’t know what to do with them…
Taut action-thriller with golorious use of steady-cam and a typically well-directed cast from Stephen Soderbergh.
Ewan McGregor is such a little bitch in this movie. Still think KNOCKOUT was a better title.
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