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Heather's Movie Review: Haywire
Is it possible to survive a major life altering betrayal and come out of it unscathed? That's the general premise behind the new action film Haywire, which revealed a new action star but very familiar results.
Haywire followed Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) who was a very popular government operative known for her work ethic and ability to get the job done. She was about to leave her latest employer/former lover Kenneth (Ewan McGregor) and his new business partner Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas) for greener pastures. Mallory just had to do one more assignment that involved being partnered with MI6 Operative Paul (Michael Fassbender) for a simple "paid holiday." It turned out that this holiday had Mallory fighting off a murder attempt and being pegged as a dangerous fugitive. Mallory was on the hunt to find out who framed her and turned to her biggest fan in Coblenz (Michael Douglas) who had the connections to help her with a price. Unfortunately, Mallory also had to contend with losing people she cared about most: her father (Bill Paxton) and her former colleague Aaron (Channing Tatum). Will Mallory be able to clear her name and keep the body count at a reasonable level?
In terms of plot, Haywire's was thinner than a sheet of parchment paper which was expected for an action film. No one goes to those movies expecting to see the next Oscar winning Best Picture. They're looking to be entertained through great fight sequences and enough violence to make it a movie bloodbath. Director Steven Soderbergh was inspired to direct this film based on seeing one of MMA fighter Gina Carano's bouts and was impressed with what he saw. The film exhibits some stellar and brutal fight sequences that would make audiences cringe at the idea of a woman getting a brutal beatdown from a man, but are relieved when she fights back and wins. The most memorable sequence was the initial showdown between Carano and Fassbender which was the action movie version of a punch filled tango that had a really lethal conclusion to it. The audience wasn't sure if they were going to hook up or kill each other. It was that intense. Sadly, the rest of the movie lacked the same momentum and ended on a rather flat note that left something to be desired.
In terms of the acting, the movie belonged to Carano's Mallory who was designed to be the ultimate survivor. Even though this was her first major film role, she used her inexperience to her advantage by making Mallory the perfect wild card that no one saw coming. Carano's voice was altered in prior to the film's release to make it sound lower and slightly flat, which tied in with Mallory being a detached agent taught not to feel anything. When it comes to the fight scenes, Carano was in her element as she taught her more established male costars the art of losing on-camera. Carano's male costars (Douglas, Paxton, Fassbender etc) were basically in brief cameos to serve a particular purpose for the stretched thin plot. Douglas and Banderas had the most fun in their brief roles as very different powerful men. Both men went the extra mile by adding an extra campy factor so that audiences won't take them too seriously. The movie's biggest casualty was McGregor's poorly drawn villain who deserved everything that was coming to him. Despite it's flaws, Haywire introduced a new potential action star in Carano. She just has to choose her new film more wisely.
Verdict: A new action star is born, but the vehicle wasn't a perfect one.
Movie Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: R
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)