Movie Reviews: Haywire
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglass, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Haywire kicks a lot of ass. In a nutshell, it’s a typical espionage/revenge flick, but under the watchful eye of director Steven Soderbergh it’s elevated beyond the typical action movie fare, with help from the stellar cast as well. Right from the get go, Mallory Kane (Gina Carano), an agent for a private company under contract with the government, goes toe to toe with her fellow agent Aaron (Channing Tatum), and the sheer brutality of the fight hits you like a sack of bricks. Coffee is thrown in Kane’s face, Aaron gets a plate thrown at him, and in the end, Kane emerges the victor, but not without some wounds of her own.
Telling the story of Mallory Kane’s deception and revenge on the people who double crossed her, the film is a brutal action fest from start to finish, and I have to say one thing about it: I am in awe and afraid of Gina Carano, the former ultimate fighter who is the star of the film. Carano is obviously a natural when it comes to throwing down with other people, and I was honestly pretty impressed with her acting ability. Sure it wasn’t fantastic, but for Haywire being her first film, she’s not terrible at all. Plus it doesn’t hurt that she’s rounded out by a cast that includes Ewan McGregor as her boss Kenneth, Michael Douglass as a government higher-up, and the always awesome Michael Fassbender as a fellow agent named Paul (who also has a run-in with Carano).
Soderbergh lays out the plot of the film in a way that keeps us guessing, finding out the details of who is behind Kane’s betrayal at the same time she does. It can be confusing as you watch the film, but by the end the entire plan is laid out for you, and is pretty easy to piece together. Soderbergh shows that he’s no slouch in the filming of action scenes either. As someone who’s seen his Ocean’s trilogy, I had some background in how he might present the scenes, but I was really impressed with how well he presented the fight scenes. The wide angles during the rooftop chase scene midway through the film was exceptional, showing Carano close to the camera and her pursuers off in the corner of the scene, showing us how close they are to catching her. It’s the shots like these that keep Haywire in a separate league from other action films, and the presentation here is key to why the film works so well.
If you aren’t the type who can stomach brutal fights, then you should probably skip Haywire. Anyone else is in for one of the best action movies of the year so far, setting the bar pretty high for the other upcoming action flicks being released this year. I hope this film leads to Gina Carano getting more roles as well. I heard rumblings that she mentioned she would love to play Wonder Woman, and after seeing this, Warner Bros. needs to be calling her. In fact, any studio looking to cast a female action lead should call her. God help them if they don’t.
THREE black coffees to the face out of FOUR