Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Stars: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender
Motion Picture Rating: R
Runtime: 93 minutes
I have written before (see the Colombiana review) about the emergence of kick-ass female action leads, but with Haywire we have something extra. The director Steven Soderbergh saw Gina Carano on TV in one of her Mixed Martial Art (MMA) fights and decided then and there that she deserved her own movie. That has happened before with men such as Van Damme, Seagal and Norris, but not for a while and never with such a critically acclaimed director.
Haywire gives MMA star Carano plenty of room to demonstrate her fighting prowess. The opening scene involves her viciously trading blows with Channing Tatum and thereafter she brawls with Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and dozens of extras. What plot there is concerns Carano’s private team of spooks and mercenaries betraying her and thus feeling her wrath. It is not a million miles away from what Tarrantino did with Kill Bill, but the look and feel is very different.
Soderbergh is trying for a 1970’s Euro spy aesthetic and as such we get washed out tones, limited dialogue and plenty of cool ‘70’s backing music. As such it does look good, but we have been here before with Soderbergh (The Limey, Out of Sight) and never has he worked with such a thin plot. His cast is solid though with Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas also in there supporting first time actress Carano. For her this is a decent effort. She fights as well as Jason Bourne, is less wooden than Seagal and Norris (who isn’t?) and also looks smoking hot in a cocktail dress.