By Le Anne Lindsay
I read that Steven Soderbergh was looking to make a more beautiful, stylistic action film in the vein of the classic James Bond film From Russia With Love or the Michael Caine thriller Funeral in Berlin when he set about to make Haywire.
His other inspiration was professional mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano:
Soderbergh was flipping between channels late one night and stumbled onto one of Carano’s fights. “I see Gina coming out. She’s got the cornrows; she’s got the warrior affect. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s interesting.’ She destroyed this woman in a cage, and I just hadn’t seen anything like this before,” he said. “I kinda filed it away. I just thought she was a fascinating combination of elements.” - moviefone.com
Carano is a bad-ass and her character Mallory is indestructible in this film. I thought it was going to take a sci-fi turn and it would be revealed she was part Cyborg!
I’m loving this whole female action hero thing, first Angelina in Salt, then Zoe in Columbiana and now Gina in Haywire. But not one of these movies has a very smart, tight script, [i]Salt[/i] being the best of the three. I’m not even going to try to decipher the plot of Haywire. It’s really just there as set dressing. This movie is about butt-kicking and fun, tongue-in-cheek performances by Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas.
Despite whatever trepidation you might have about Carano’s acting chops (certainly the out-of-context five-minute opening didn’t assuage any fears), she more than holds her own against her lauded co-stars. Her taciturn performance (Soderbergh compared her character to a Clint Eastwood-type), the minimalist fight scenes, and the way Soderbergh uses Dave Holmes’s infectious throwback score, make “Haywire” a genre exercise that you likely haven’t seen before. Those expecting quick-cuts and dizzying hand-held shots should probably just Netflix a Jason Bourne movie instead. – moviephone.com
Technically, I agree with the above assessment, but it’s a little too enthusiastic. All in all, Haywire does not hold a candle to Soderbergh’s other films. I don’t believe he achieved his intention to make a “beautiful action film”. The brief scenes of Carano with Michael Fassbender is the only time the film has a rich, Bond-like sophistication.
Le Anne Lindsay is a PFS Blog contributor. For more of her work, visit Tinsel & Tine.
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