Haywire * * * 1/2
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Screenplay: Lem Dobbs.
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Mathieu Kassovitz, Michael Angarano, Anthony Brandon Wong.
With a first-rate cast at his disposal, director Steven Soderbergh, decides to have them play second-fiddle to his unknown lead, Gina Carano – a real, mixed martial arts fighter – who has never acted before. Soderbergh himself is also on new ground with his first foray in the action genre. And the results, I hear you say? The results, happen to be rather impressive. Soderbergh’s gamble pays off.
Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a no-nonsense, highly trained, black ops soldier who gets double-crossed during a government security mission. Assassins from across the globe target her every move and are out for the kill but Mallory turns the tables, in her bid for the truth and her survival.
Double-dealing’s, back-stabbing and espionage across international locations have been done many times before – most recently in the Bourne series. This may leave you feeling that your time is being wasted but it’s to Soderbergh’s credit that he still finds some mileage in it. That’s thanks in large, to his independent approach. The film is well shot throughout, with a minimal music score and excellently choreographed action set-pieces. The fisticuffs themselves are even delivered with the sound toned down, making them all the more realistic and Carano’s fighting abilities are very apparent and impressive. Her acting chops may leave a little to be desired but at the end of the day, she’s there to throw her weight around and that’s exactly what she does. The very fine supporting cast also pitch in and Soderbergh manages to get them sharing scenes with one another. It’s always a pet-hate of mine to see an excellently assembled cast that don’t share any screen time. This fulfils on that front. He also knows not to overstay his welcome and with a running time of approx 90mins, this doesn’t waste any time in getting down to the nitty-gritty.
The story is old-hat and the film has come into some mixed reviews but with an eclectic supporting cast of first-rate actors and a heroine (without the use of CGI) that can genuinely bust a few heads, what more do you want from an action film that pretends to be nothing other than just that. Good quick fun.