Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is a highly trained operative working for a government security contractor in dangerous corners of the world. Contracted to free a Chinese journalist who is being held hostage in Barcelona, she later discovers that he has been murdered and that all the evidence points to her being the main suspect. She realises she has been betrayed and needs to find out by whom and why?
Review by Louise Keller:
Steven Soderbergh devised the film especially for his kickboxing champion leading lady Gina Carano, who in devastating fashion, kicks her way through a line of leading men, all coming off a poor second best. The plot is overly complicated with much of it washing over us, leaving the full throttle action to grab our attention. The best parts are the dialogue-free action scenes in which David Holmes' music pulsates similarly to his music in the Ocean's Eleven films and Soderbergh's sharp-shooting camera work (as Peter Andrews) and nifty editing (under the pseudonym of Mary Ann Bernard) brings pace.
With its high profile cast to reel us in and maintain our interest, it is Carano as Mallory (soon to be seen in Fast and Furious 6), who gets a stranglehold on each of the big strong men after her, flinging them as if they were lightweights, often demonstrating inner thigh strength, legs wrapped around her assailants' throats. She leaps over rooftops, scales high fences and runs like a marathon champion - all in the course of the day and her quest to find out the whys and the wherefores of double crosses and double dealings.
In the opening scene (set upstate) in a remote diner, we witness Mallory's skill set first hand when she shows a thing or two to a colleague (Channing Tatum) with whom she worked in Barcelona. (Tatum is currently starring in Soderbergh's latest film Magic Mike, exploring the sleaze of male stripclubs.) The screenplay skips backwards and forwards rather frustratingly, dropping clues all the while as to how each character fits in.
Highlight is the riveting sequence in Dublin, in which a suitably oily and perfectly cast Michael Fassbender pretends to be Mallory's new husband. We watch in fascination not knowing where things will lead; all I shall say is that things get really interesting at the end of the night behind closed doors, when the hotel's décor gets a makeover.
Top guns Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Mathieu Kassovitz bring their gravitas to the mix and Ewan McGregor is good in a rather thankless role. Bill Paxton (with a moustache) plays Mallory's author father. But Haywire is all about Carano and her kick-ass girl power. Not surprisingly we are told to buckle up at the beginning of the film.
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HAYWIRE: DVD (M)
CAST: Gina Carano, Michael Angarano, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Mathieu Kassovitz, Bill Paxton
PRODUCER: Gregory Jacobs
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
SCRIPT: Lem Dobbs
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven Soderbergh (as Harry Andrews)
EDITOR: Steven Soderbergh (as Mary Ann Bernard)
MUSIC: David Holmes
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Howard Cummings
RUNNING TIME: 93 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Gina Carano in Training; Men of Haywire feature
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: July 26, 2012
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.