Down to the Wire – A review of Haywire

Gina Carano stars as a government operative who is targeted by her firm after a mission goes awry.
Gina Carano stars as a government operative who is targeted by her firm after a mission goes awry.

Summary: Bourne lite. MMA fighter Gina Carano is compelling as an agent working for a firm that double crosses her and tries to eliminate her.

When you think action movie stars, quite a few names come to mind. Statham? Check. Damon? Yup. Willis? Of course. Diesel? Uh-huh. Carano? WHO?

Okay, maybe she isn’t a household name – yet. But give her a few years and she’s likely to make a name for herself in these types of movies, judging by her performance in Haywire.

She plays an agent named Mallory Kane who works for a private company. Things go awry, though, when her boss (and former lover) tries to have her killed after a mission to Barcelona.

On the run with few, if any, friends to help her out, she must evade bad guys, good guys and the cops. Not an easy task, I might point out. And a great excuse to exit the three-inch heels.

Carano is easy on the eyes, which helps her in those scenes where she needs to doll up for those gala festivities. But when the action starts, gone is the party dress and the aforementioned heels. Even in drab clothes and sneakers, though, she still is a lovely woman. Yes, even when she’s leaping between buildings and sliding down stove pipes.

The great thing about this movie is that it doesn’t cheat the audience. Kane isn’t Superwoman or Wonder Woman, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or stop bullets with her teeth. The peril she’s in is very real.

One scene in particular had me on the edge of my seat. Shortly after the first attempt on her life, She realizes that she’s being followed. The camera hones in on her and we can’t help but feel as claustrophobic as she must when the world appears to be closing in around her.

This is a fine first outing for Carano, though. Her co-stars are compelling, as well. She stars alongside some of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, including Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender. Not all of the men come out of the story unscathed, however, and won’t be back for the sequel.

I also love the exotic locales she visits, but Upstate New York? Really? Okay, may parts of the plot aren’t compelling, but the characters keep the story interesting.

I anxiously look forward to the next installment of the Kane saga. She obviously has what it takes to keep audiences entertained. And her fighting skills must be seen to be appreciated. I give Haywire 4 out of 5 stars.

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