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Haywire Movie Review
Haywire - An Exciting Journey
The majority of this movie takes place over a short period of days. The primary agent for a start-up intelligence private contractor, Mallory Kane, becomes embroiled in a chain of lies orchestrated by she knows not whom.
The movie follows Mallory, the daughter of a military subjects author, David Kane, and a woman Marine (The WM's I knew in the Corps used to say, "We have all the same courses you do, plus one more- make up"). Mallory worked three years for Kenneth, the operator-owner of the private intel firm.
Kenneth arranges the extraction of a Chinese dissident author. Immediately following this, a CIA manager, Koblenz, hires Kenneth's firm for another job in Ireland. But, he insists on Mallory being involved. "I don't want your B team on this," Koblenz tells Kenneth.
When Mallory meets her MI6 partner in Ireland, everything seems fine. But, once she is in the hotel room with Paul, the MI6 contact, she begins to suspect something.
The movie unfolds as both a mystery and an action film. The pace is quick, but not too quick. Unlike many action hero characters, the Mallory Kane character makes some mistakes. She lets herself get surprised by Aaron, another agent, in a roadside diner (opening scene). Later, she trusts her weight to some wires and takes a bad fall. In fights, she takes her share of punishment. This makes her seem more like a person.
The Mallory character is very complex. The film is too action-packed to really introduce us to Mallory as a person. We are never told why she is so tough, how she learned to fight so well (she uses some innovative tactics, such as using walls for leverage), or why she is so direct and thorough. We are left to assume her military fascination is a derivative of her father's career interest in war and warfare.
Mallory not Believable as a Marine
Mallory Kane is played by Gina Carano. She did a great job in the fight scenes and her acting does not merit any criticism. However, her attitude is not really Marine Corps. Many of her actions are what a Marine would do- act fast, use what you have, the best defense is a good offense- The problem I had is that she just didn't have, to quote a cadence, "that good old Marine Corps spirit". Marines have a determination- a steely determination which obliterates all other thought - that just did not happen with Mallory. She is focused... but... I think only other Marines will understand what I'm talking about here.
Here is an example of how she did not look Marine Corps: at the end of the movie, the look on her face is not the killer instinct of a Marine. It looks like the face of someone with whom you are about to grapple at the MMA dojo.
Still, it is a fun movie, and worth the ticket price to see in theaters.
Movie has Some Bumps
Some things in this movie don't add up. She gets shot in the right arm. She has her abducted passenger patch up her arm with clean patches, scissors, and gauze. Why did she have those things? These are not normal back pack items. In the military, I worked with some intel guys. They carry certain equipment (like a pen to take notes). They don't carry first aid equipment. Even James Bond and Rambo didn't carry medical supplies.
Next, she asks the passenger to give her a drink, because she can't use the arm. However, a few minutes later, she has her right arm slung around the back of the passenger seat as she drives in reverse.
The driving in reverse escape then ends when (seriously, this happens), she hits a deer. In the day. That is a rare stupid deer, you say? I agree. And, why do directors use the rear driving escape, anyway? The reverse gear has a very limited maximum speed. The pursuers can drive much faster. Yet, in all these scenes, the reverse car maintains a lead. It is not believable.
Mallory chases one of the dissident's captors through Barcelona- for several blocks. She is a former Marine, in great shape. He is an older guy, about 20 pounds overweight... But, she can't catch him? In reality, that guy would have just stopped after no more than three blocks at the sprint speed they were going. When she caught him, he would not be able to fight, either.
So, there are a few things in the film which do not make sense. This makes the movie an exciting action movie, but not a great film.