Haywire (2011)

I miss Steven Soderbergh. I wish the talented director of Out Of Sight, Magic Mike and Behind The Candelabra hadn’t retired. Still I recently got to see his 2011 action-thriller Haywire, can this briefly fill the void I’ve been missing?

Mallory (Gina Carano) works for a private company on ‘operations’, where her last case was rescuing a hostage. However all is not as it seems and soon after Mallory is running for her life with her former colleagues and the police after her. 

The opening scene is great as we’re introduced to Mallory and her colleague Aaron (Channing Tatum) at a small diner in upstate New York, which features a brutal and unexpected fight scene before going back in time to see how they ended up like this. From then on Haywire is an intreaging, fun, action film with also a nice amount of humour which helps break up the complicated plot and take a breather from the adrenaline packed fight scenes.

It’s great to see a strong female as the lead character in an action film. Steven Soderbergh built the role of Mallory around Carano who had never acted before, instead she was a mixed martial artist fighter. As expected the fight scenes are the high point in this film with Carano doing all her own stunts. Although she is not the most expresive actress she handles the role well and is strongly supported by her more experience cast members (most of whom she proceeds to beat up). Michael Fassbender in particular is great as a British operative and Bill Paxton has fun as Mallory’s protective dad. Only Ewan McGregor as Mallory’s boss and ex husband feels a bit out of place in the film, maybe because its hard to imagine tough cookie Mallory falling for such a slimeball.

However there are some downsides to this film that can’t be overlooked. The plot is overly complicated and confusing, I found it difficult to keep up at times and remember what the hell is going on and who is who and what they were doing. There is also moments of extream stupidity by the villians of the piece  and considering they are all meant to be intellegant people you wonder how they got their high powered jobs in the first place.

Although not perfect, Haywire is a fun film and reminds you of how versatile a director Soderbergh is,  jumping into different genres and coming up with something interesting and entertaining. It’s a shame we won’t be seeing any new movies from him, but if you’re a fan of Soderbergh and like action films, then give Haywire and Carano a chance. Just don’t expect to understand the plot.

Rating 3.5/5-too overly complicated for its own good but the fight scenes are ace.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Haywire (2011)

  1. Good review Lauren. Soderbergh is the type of director that can take anything conventional, and absolutely spin it on its head to make something unique, if oddly familiar. Here he does the same thing, but to lesser results.

  2. The fight between Fassbender and Carano was a highlight for me – so intense!

    Out of interest, did you enjoy Side Effects? It was one of my favourite films of last year but seems to have been a little overlooked.

    • That was a great fight. Really brutal. I also liked the one in the beginning between Carano and Tatum, especially when some of the bystanders tried joining in and hitting Tatum!

      Yes I really liked Side Effects, it was a very smart thriller and for once all the twists made sense. I think if it was released later in the year more people might have been talking about it but I guess they were trying to leave some time between that release and Behind The Candelabra.

  3. Great review Lauren, clear and straight to the point. I remember wanting to see this when it came out in the cinema many moons ago because the trailer looked awesome and Gina was a total badass, but because reviews for the film were a little mixed I gave it a miss. Darn shame to hear that McGregor apparently wasn’t on-form in this film, he was one of the main reasons I wanted to watch the film.

    Sounds like it would be a good watch but I would like to know, would you recommend the film to me personally.

    • Hi I would definately recomend this to you as it has some great scenes of Gina kicking her co-stars ass and she does some really good stunts. I think the problem McGregor has was that his character was a bit one note and didn’t have the opportunity to inject his normal charisma into the proceedings.

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