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Once again, I stepped into a movie with zero expectations, and was
pleasantly surprised. People told me to avoid "Haywire" but I found it
First off, I was amazed by the number of likable actors that are in the movie - Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton (where has he been hiding?) all star in co-roles. I don't know the main actress in the movie but she did a fine job, and apparently did all her own stunts.
Flick has been un-fairly compared to Angelina Jolies "Salt." Why? Because it stars a woman kicking guys ass's perhaps? I guess their plots are kind off similar too, but "Salt" was an over the top action movie. Outside of a couple of movie-style fights "Haywire" feels more realistic, but where it really succeeds is in its style. It works as a cool thriller that I found myself smiling at because off the way it tells its ex-assassin-getting-chased-again plot. Although maybe not everyone will give it a thumbs up, I will because I enjoyed it.
It's got a simple, but hugely unoriginal plot - Special Ops agent gets
doubled-crossed (yawn) and proceeds to exact her revenge on those who
wronged her, yeah, it sounds very much like the standard plot for your
average Steven Seagal straight-to-DVD actioner - not a film directed by
I suspect that Soderbergh is not overly familiar with this particular genre, otherwise he might have avoided the clichéd script like the plague...
The direction for this piece is restrained almost to the point of inertia - any energy generated within the action scenes comes sorely from the mixed-martial artistry of Ms. Carano, it almost feels as if Mr. Soderbergh is embarrassed by the notion of directing an action thriller.
Soderbergh does his usual thing of peppering his films with stars and/or solid character actors, but despite the presence of the likes of Ewan MacGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, etc, they are underused in what are essentially expanded cameos - only MacGregor gets to shine a little, but his character is underwritten and lacks any credible motivation for his actions.
Gina Carano acquits herself quite well, especially so given the fact that she is carrying the movie on her inexperienced shoulders - that and the cold, hard reality that her character is basically a Jason Bourne clone, albeit with female genitalia...
The film also suffers from the fact that it doesn't have a climax, it just simply stops.
The restrained approach Soderbergh adopted for this film is it's undoing - short, sporadic bursts of action in an uninspired and leisurely-paced script damage Haywire badly, if Steven Soderbergh had bothered to have injected a bit more zest and flair into his direction, the film might have been redeemed somewhat and not turned into the lifeless, miserable clone that it is.
This movie stands out from any movie I've ever seen for one reason: it
is the only movie I've seen where I believed the people fighting were
actually fighting. I can't remember ever seeing a film where I was
actually wincing and tensing up from fear that somebody was going to
This isn't a film that depends on CGI or fast cuts or clever angles or even stunt people for the most part. The star of the film is clearly a very physical and capable woman of action, and she made me believe she was actually hurting the people she was pretending to hurt.
For that reason alone, it will always stand out in my memory. Most action films these days are terribly boring because it's all so cartoonish and exaggerated and stylized, and therefore unbelievable and fake. But this film kept the action grounded in the physical capabilities of its very capable star, and that made it anything but boring. I guess it didn't do to well at the box office, which is too bad. If this had launched a franchise I'd have been a big fan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've literally just seen this and came out of the cinema thinking 'Was
that it?'. OK, the fight sequences were good, an easy rival for the
likes of Bourne, and the occasional one line comments did make me
chuckle but the acting, especially from the lead character, was pretty
poor. I even expected more from the likes of Douglas, McGregor and
The general plot was there and developed over what seemed like 3 hours, however I felt the film was disjointed, predictable, and why she insisted on befriending a random bloke and telling him her entire life story after stealing his car is beyond me.
All in all I felt cheated, let down, and like I was watching a well budgeted university film.
A lot of people are just voting 1 for this film without any just cause
other then they don't want to like this film. I believe this film has
flaws but as a whole, is a very unique and special experience. When I
watched this film, it was not like any film that I had seen before,
from the camera angles, sound choices, etc. I felt some of the sound
choices were strange but it went with the whole flow of the movie. This
movie is NOT a standard action movie but more like watching art. There
were few fight scenes but the fight scenes that are in the movie have a
raw feeling to them and are extremely well choreographed. They are
believable because the main character's hand to hand fights are all one
on one with the exception of one fight in which she is fighting two
people. But it is believable because she gets a surprise attack on the
two people. The other fights, she is fighting people her size except
for one fight, in which she was getting her ass handed to her until
someone else joined in and helped her.
I think people were either expecting an ACTION action movie or a Oscar worthy drama but this movie is neither. It has a very surreal feeling and it can be slow but it has a very real feeling to it as well and is more like an experience then a movie. The fight scenes alone are worth the price of admission, and seeing the birth of a legitimate female action star. Was her acting stellar? No but it was pretty good, especially for someone who has never acted before. She can only improve from here.
The story of Haywire is not really appealing. It's about someone tough
who got betrayed then wants revenge. It's been used in so many action
films. But Haywire has a different purpose to exist. It's about giving
Gina Carano her own show with Steven Soderbergh's direction. It's
pretty fascinating. Both merits cover the "cookie-cutterness" of the
plot. It's not your standard action film with senseless explosions and
mediocre dumbness. It's a film with art, style, and action scenes that
are ridiculous and realistic. It's short but it's still worth the ride.
The film isn't really trying to be original, big, or loud. Haywire is one of Soderbergh's experiments. The story may not be original but he tells it in a pretty clever way. The first half of the film takes place on a car and shows a lot of flashbacks. The scenes are pretty slick. The action is silent but it's pretty awesome. Gina Carano made every fights dangerously exciting. The other stars does their thing but they don't appear that much. It's one of Soderbergh's trademarks. He casts some big stars but they end up being minor characters. Well, this is Carano's show. It's all about her.
The only thing that disappoints me here is it's too short and there are only few fight scenes. But there are still some action scenes that are pretty exciting like the car chase in New York and the SWAT chase in Dublin were well shot and have a good amount of suspense. The rest of the filmmaking: Well written. The score is fancy. The cinematography and editing are simply art.
Haywire is as simple as it gets. It may not be a fast action blockbuster but it is more interesting than that. It's not quite recommendable to everyone unless you like art films, Soderbergh's directing style, or Gina Carano. No female action star can fight like Gina Carano. It's fun to see her beat up all of these men. Since we are now stuck with action films with mediocre filmmaking, at least we get to see another classy action film like this. But the true core of this film is Gina Carano.
I really liked "Haywire" and Gina Carano is one tough cookie with an ax to grind. The film has a very independent feel about it, along with a very retro style. Carano is great in her role, totally believable and the girl does her own stunts! The story is a bit hard to follow so you do have to pay attention and have a normal adult attention span. If you are expecting "Fast and Furious" or some other schlock like that, this is not the movie for you. There are intense action scenes and slower parts where the story really unfolds. All of the male stars in this film are simply backdrop for Gina's kick ass, don't f**k with me fellows attitude. A very unique and intelligent story worth seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was really looking forward to see this movie, because i like Jina
Carano and love thrillers and action films. But Haywire is just bad.
Weird colors and sound choices, supposed to add suspense but they
didn't. Fights, that looked like sparring, because there were no strong
punches and power in the moves. All the strikes and grips because of
this looked fake. Overall bad and unconvincing action - chases were
about mindless running, there were nothing special about them, despite
all the tries.
I wish my English allowed me to explain it better, but i will do my best: if you, as a director, want something (fight or running scene) to look real, it would be wise to do some research, otherwise you will get really poor result. For example, in the Barcelona chase Jina's bottom was wobbling - nobody runs like this in the real life if he was in army, because, you know, everything you do in the army is running. It's just looks unprofessional and fake. Script is on same level of quality - huge conspiracy with big plot holes. Just bad movie.
Better than Ocean 13 perhaps, but still quite bad. Gina Carano did so much better than John Cena. Too bad the director was Soderberg and not an 'actually' intelligent man. IMDb published an interview of Antonio Banderas on Haywire, but I wonder why. His screen time is less than 5 minutes in total, and not the most interesting 5 minutes either. Reasons are not explained, characters are not detailed, it is not a respectable film overall. Some people called Mallory the female Bourn. That is another mystery, because when I saw the world through Bourn's eyes, I never had any problem understanding what he was feeling or going through. In this film, I had no attachment with any of the characters. If the bad guys just killed Gina Carano in the middle of the film, I would not really feel any different, because I had no idea why a bunch of people were just randomly hurting, shooting at, or killing each other. I read a review a while back, where someone criticized those who came to watch this film expecting a real action film or some award- winning performances. He wrote he liked this film honestly because of the surreal feel. I can kind of appreciate his remark. Surrealism and retardedness are two extremes that can sometimes cross over from one side to the other. For mentally healthy people, who expect to see female Bourn with stylish performances from McGregor, Banderas, Fassbender, etc., I do not recommend this film at all. The film is well shot, well edited, the soundtrack is not too horrible, so I give it a 5. If I had to rate only the substance, I would rate it 1, like many others have done.
Haywire stars MMA fighter Gina Carano as Mallory Kane, a mercenary sent
on a mission to retrieve a hostage in Barcelona. Mallory had planned to
leave her current mercenary outfit, but her boss convinced her to
finish one more job in Dublin, where she meets her partner Paul
(Michael Fassbender). At a party hosted by their contact, a mysterious
gentleman, Mallory discovers that she has been double-crossed and
spends the remainder of the movie following the typical revenge
scenario of tracking down her wrongdoers.
While director Steven Soderbergh attempts to add flavor to the plot by starting the film in medias res, this technique does not add value to the already flat plot-line. Instead, Carano's superb action scenes carry the movie. You can immediately tell from her fighting technique that she is a superb MMA fighter, as her style is very similar to that portrayed in the MMA film Warrior. Furthermore, Soderbergh's decision to portray these action scenes with all background noise silent gives Haywire a more realistic feel.
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