Haywire (Film Review)

I’ve seen plenty of thrillers. At this point, it’s really difficult to craft a unique, fresh thriller. Sometimes we get something really good, however, it seems like more uninspiring and generic thriller get made these days. Unfortunately, “Haywire” fits this description almost to a tee.

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, and michael Douglas.

Plot: Mallory Kane (Carano), an ex marine, is on the run after being betrayed by her own agency. She worked for a private company contracted by the government. The majority of the film is spent with her running, hiding, and kicking ass.

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Gina Carano is a former MMA fighter turned action movie star. She has only been in a handful of films, but this film was her first onscreen role in a film–as the lead. Yes, that’s right, she got the lead role. How is she? Well, as one might expect, Carano isn’t much of an actress. She hasn’t acted a day in her life, and unfortunately, it shows. Later, we’ll discuss her fight scenes, but her overall performance was very hammy. Often times, I was bothered by her voice. She sounded like she was doing a Siri impression; more robotic, less human and less and natural. Despite this, she is surrounded by a mountain of talent, the likes of Fassbender and Douglas. Everyone, except Carano, gives excellent performances.

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Moving on to a less demeaning tone, let’s discuss the fight scenes. If anything in this film is worth witnessing, it’s watching Gina Carano kick ass. The way the fight scenes are laid out, filmed, and directed are great. The credit goes first to Carano, obviously, and also the director and cinematographer. All three people contributed to make the fights look as good as they did. They felt extremely brutal, stylish, and above all, real. Carano did all of her own stunts. That alone is worth seeing.

As a film, Haywire isn’t particularly engaging or interesting. Aside from stylish fighting, the film is mostly generic. The cast is mostly great, and the direction is solid. It’s just the story and writing are really lazy. None of the characters were flushed out, not even the central one. The story was paper thin, and almost non existent. The plot wasn’t necessarily complicated, but I found it wasn’t very interesting or fresh. A character is betrayed, and then goes on the run as a fugitive. We’ve seen it a million times.

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“Haywire” fails to bring anything new to the thriller genre. The characters are dull, the story is dull, and the dialogue is pretty generic. While Carano kicks ass, and kicks it well, she doesn’t give a good performance. The rest of the cast is great, and the direction and cinematography are superb. If anything, watch this film for it’s very impressive fight scenes. Looking for something deeper or fresh? You won’t find it here.

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