15 / 2011 / Action / Cast: Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas
Screenplay: Lem Dobbs / Director: Steven Soderbergh
Haywire marks Steve Soderbergh’s second foray into plunking star talent from equally high-flying industries, and throwing them into the cinematic deep-end of leading characterisation (the first being The Girlfriend Experience). This time, it’s the turn of Gina Carano. A Mixed Martial Artist by trade, here she is cast as a black-ops agent seeking revenge, after being framed during her last assignment. In order to give the film a bit more clout though, Soderbergh has surrounded Carano with a plethora of Hollywood heavyweights, including Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum and Michael Douglas. It’s actually a crying shame that some of these supporting players are used a lot less than normal (as each is on top form), but then, it was never really about them. Instead, this is Carano’s show and by Jove does she nail it. In fact, what is pleasantly surprising about Haywire is how gritty and unpolished the fighting actually is. Instead of wires and fancy choreography, there are ‘mistakes’ being made, as well as the noted absence of heightened sound effects to punctuate the punches. With a solid lead and a fairly strong narrative, the only real problem is the soundtrack: it simply doesn’t fit.
Kyle Buxton is an independent freelance film reviewer and blogger
Be sure to check out hid blog at: Reel Lighthouse – containing movie reviews, as well as other occasional film-related insights.