The Twenty-First Century

Haywire [2012]

I wasn’t familiar with Gina Carano prior to watching “Haywire”, but I am more than familiar with director Steven Soderbergh, and I know what he’s capable of. Which is why it’s so frustrating that his latest effort nearly drowns itself in a sea of confusion.  On the surface, “Haywire” has all the ingredients of a first rate action movie; solid premise, kick-ass action scenes and an A list cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Michael Fassbender. I bet you’re drooling. But wait till you see the real star of the picture: martial art champ Gina Carano, who handles dialogue pretty well and knows how to kick some ass. So far so good. But then “Haywire” turns ugly and leaves you wishing it was better than it is. Why? Because Soderbergh wussies out on a sharp premise. Because it wastes a killer cast that’s ready to rock it. On the plus side, the fight scenes are well staged, as we follow Mallory Kane (Carano), a highly experienced contract spy who suddenly finds herself on the run after her former employer Kenneth (McGregor) attempts to have her killed (shame on you Obi-Wan). From then on, you forget about plot, and focus more on the action. It’s fun for about 15 minutes seeing Carano do James Bond on estrogen. But the surprise wears off quickly. There are some awesome chase scenes though, mostly filmed in Barcelona and Dublin. Soderbergh and company have managed to put dimmers on two colorful cities. Now that takes something. It just doesn’t involve talent. I suspect this guilty pleasure, directed at whiplash speed ,will go down much easier on cable TV with a few beers and a slice of pizza with extra cheese. Yum.

Rating: 2/4

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4 replies »

  1. “[…]his latest effort nearly drowns itself in a sea of confusion. On the surface, “Haywire” has all the ingredients of a first rate action movie.[…]”

    I can assure you that the last thing Soderbergh wanted to achieve was a “first-rate action movie”, and it looks to me that there was not one bit of “confusion” in the making of this film, and I found it really great, entertaining and a fresh take on action movies.

    Soderbergh is not in the business of making block-busters like the Ocean’s series or epic sci-fi movies like Solaris. All of his latest projects feels like Soderbergh is experimenting, and this is what I like the most about his latest movies, that fresh feeling of something new, something not yet done, with of course Soderbergh’s own touch thrown into it.

    …maybe I’m biased, as a Soderbergh fan, but this movie felt like a true gem, best action movie I’ve seen in a while.

    • Im a sodebergh fan myself, but I honestly couldn’t sit through “Haywire”. Maybe I was expecting something more fast paced. Anyway, I’m eager for his next project. He’s still one heck of a director in my opinion.

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