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Haywire Movie Review
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
A deadly black ops ex Marine is set up after performing a job. After a failed attempt on her life, she works back through the chain to discover who is hunting her, and why.
We first meet Mallory (Gina Carano) in a diner in upstate New York. Sitting in her booth, she is bruised, tired and on edge. A familiar face sits opposite her and an uncomfortable dialogue takes place, the conclusion is a fight in which Mallory eventually overpowers her acquaintance and leaves with a shocked fellow diner in his brand new car. From the very outset we are shown that this not a woman to be taken lightly.
As we progress through the film we are taken backwards and forwards through the deception that has lead to that point. Although we are not pushed at Tarantino-esque speed and the plot is easily understood and at no point does one feel as though this style of story telling is putting the watcher at unease.
Soderbergh delivers an action film that has an unusually medium pace to it, and for me it works. There are many scenes in the film where we are just following Mallory as she tries to evade her pursuers. One sequence especially which is set in Dublin, where she is trying to lose the Garda. We travel through a hotel, over roof tops and the city streets, eventually ending up at the port. During this chase there is no dialogue, but the use of clever direction and action keeps you attentive. And to this end all of the action that takes place, in this passage, and all the way through the film, gives the sense that it could actual happen and real people are doing the stunts. Carano delivers some great fight sequences with McGregor and especially Fassbender who ends up being finished off in a way that a lot of men would probably wish for!
Along with the slower pace of action that most cinema goers are used to, and will probably not enjoy this film for, is and interestingly 70's cop style backing track. Every time it kicked in I was expecting to see a red and white Gran Torino to come flying round the corner and smash in to a pile of cardboard boxes! But again, for me this worked, it complimented the pace that we were journeying on.
I have to say I was a bit confused with how many scenes that included Carano were either in shadow or had her facing away from the camera. This was saying to me that Soderbergh felt that she wasn't there to be drooled over and we were supposed to keep in mind of what she was, a killer. McGregor does enforce this in a quote, saying, "don't think of her as a woman, that would be a mistake". But, at one point where she has to 'dress up' she does look remarkably like Catherine Zeta Jones, and with Michael Douglas also starring in this one, I suppose they had to be careful! We do also get a showing from Antonio Banderas, beard and all! It's a shame now that every time I hear his voice I'm going to be seeing a ginger feline with boots and a sword!
To sum up, if you go to this expecting Bourne, it's not. If you go expecting Mission Impossible, it's not. Expect a different take on the action/thriller genre and if you think like me you'll come away pleased. pleasantly so.