Sunday, February 05, 2012


Year: 2012
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Michael Angarano

Plot: A black ops agent seeks revenge on the people who double crossed her.

Review: Steven Soderbergh is probably the last person you'd expect to helm an action film. That being said, Haywire isn't a typical slam bang action fest, rather it is more of a quieter, less flashy version of a Jason Bourne film.

That being the case, you won't see huge stunts or explosions here. What you will get however are realistic, bone crunching fights courtesy of real life MMA fighter Gina Carano, who makes her acting debut here. Carano is a natural at physical combat, so her altercations with her much more illustrious male co-stars are the main dish here, so to speak.

Carano, whose voice has been altered for this film (no idea why), is decent enough as our heroine. Granted, her first acting gig isn't phenomenal, after all she's a better fighter, but she fills the role well enough. The rest of the male cast are believable enough in their roles, especially Bill Paxton as her father and Michael Fassbender as an agent she tussles with. Carano's fight with Fassbender in a hotel room is probably the best action sequence in the film. Ewan McGregor isn't convincing enough as her evil boss though, maybe I'm too used to seeing him as a nice guy.

The thing is, I felt like this film relied mostly on Carano's ability as an action heroine. While I have no doubt that she will be a good one as time goes by, Haywire is just too lightweight for my taste. Soderbergh doesn't have much to offer here other than Carano beating people up and lots of conversations that are pedestrian in their execution. Even the quietest of action thrillers ought to have some suspense, but there is barely any here. When he's not getting Carano to beat someone up, Soderbergh lets things play out in a dull manner. The best example of this is the ending. Pretty anti-climactic.

However, I'll give Soderbergh some credit for trying, he just needs to try harder. (3/5)

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