There are very few women in Hollywood that can pull off being a badass without it coming off as cheesy or forced. This is why it’s not a surprise to know that Steven Soderbergh decided to go with MMA fighter, Gina Carano, when casting the ass kicking female lead in Haywire. Haywire’s story is your usual spy espionage thriller plot but it uses Gina’s MMA experience to add an intensity that’s not seen in its genre contemporaries.
Gina Carano’s fighting experience, coupled with Soderbergh’s direction, creates a visceral string of fight scenes that would be right at home besides any Hong Kong Kung Fu flick or any of the Bourne movies. On top of that, you’re also treated to a sound-scape that seems like it’s made up of actual fight sounds rather than the over produced folly work that you’ve heard in dozens of movies before this. Even the objects in the environment that are used as weapons don’t seem like props make to break on impact but are actual real world items that act the way they should. One of Haywire’s greatest achievements is creating a world that may play host to over the top action but is governed by a gritty realism seldom seen in other movies in the spy action genre.
Unfortunately, the high points of the action put the rest of the movie in stark contrast; as a predictable story and nonsensical plot points bog down what could be a fantastic spy Action Spy movie. Haywire has a talented cast of actors that includes; Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas, yet poor editing and writing ruin whatever traction their performances may gain. As much as I love Gina Carano’s intensity as an action star, the movie relies on her acting ability to carry the movie but there is very little life to be found in her performance outside of the action.
Rich’s Recommended Viewing:
Opening Weekend – At The Theater – Rent It – Watch It On Cable – Stay Away! – 3/5
While 3 out of 5 may seem like a harsh review score, I can confidently say Haywire’s action is worth catching while it’s still in the theaters. It is a big dumb action movie that’s anchored by the strength of Gina Carano’s chemistry as an action star and I’m sure with time her performances will get stronger with each new project the studios are smart enough to throw her way.