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.
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…
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.
Nothing especially new here, but it is a good example of how entertaining a film can be when an a-list director decides to add his take. Carano is better than I ever would have expected.
Haywire is all the research Marvel needs to make a Black Widow movie.
Από τις χειρότερες σκηνονοθεσίες που έχω δει στη ζωή μου και δενπέρασεευχάρισταηώραπαιδιά.
I have seen Haywire a lot of times since seeing at the cinema on release. I find it extremely rewatchable. The mix of tough, visceral action, David Holmes brilliant jazz-inflected score and the ultra-cool stylings of Steven Soderbergh having fun, make this actioner a real step above the usual offerings of the genre. Gina Carano is completely convincing as the toughest person in the film, and her acting talent has been really underrated, with a rush of people wanting to criticise her. She's certainly better than any male equivalents of the last decade, like Vin Diesel or The Rock.
The film is packed with big name cameos: Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, The Fass. It has flashes…
(Original review outdated, re-evaluation required at later date)
Steven Soderbergh is quickly going up the list of my favourite directors. I have seen 9 of his movies and disliked none. He has a unique way of staging his scenes. His editing, too; each cut, sometimes almost jarring but somehow effective in adding to its stylistic direction.
Haywire is an experimental action-thriller. It is an exercise in staging. The plot has little significance on what the movie is trying to achieve; I think that's why Soderbergh and the writer Lem Dobbs did not put much effort into it. Whether this exercise as a whole passed or failed is up to you. The dialogue isn't important either, it is mostly to move the plot along and to provide some information…
A choppy somewhat disjointed effort that redeems itself with solid action and Gina Carano. For those of you who do not know who Gina is, this former (new)American Gladiator/MMA Fighter is a force to be reckoned with. Go watch her kick some ass.
Steven Soderbergh is one of the few directors who can legitimately be described as an auteur. He's done it all, from the Hollywood blockbuster with a matching heavy-hitting cast, to the weirdly experimental casting of a porn star in an indecipherable borefest, from detailed biopics of iconic historical figures, to less conventional fare using non-professional actors and no script, he's not afraid to push the envelope. Haywire does just that with the casting of Gina Carano, a mixed martial arts expert who is perfectly believable as a covert Black-Ops agent. Bringing in some big name actors in support roles, Carano doesn't quite do it all on her own although the plot centres on her betrayal and a conspiracy laden story…
Competent, but never truly engaging. This seems to be a generic Tom Clancy novella with little to no heart. The action sequences were somewhat sparsely applied and executed nicely, but they weren't enough to make this at all memorable.
This list was inspired by a conversation on the March 2nd/9th editions of Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo's film review, where…