Haywire Review

Gritty Combat Can't Save the Generic Action Spy Thriller

January 20, 2012 by

Haywire you watching this movie?” That’s what I’d ask you. And unless you’re a Gina Carano fan or a hardcore Steven Soderbergh fan, you could probably skip this spy thriller without any qualms. Like his last film, Contagion, Soderbergh’s latest movie is tamer than its potential, not something you want to hear about an action flick. Also like the disease drama, Haywire keeps your attention throughout, but unfortunately the payoff isn’t worth the brief trip and falls short of the price of admission… unless you wait a few months for video.

The strong ensemble cast features Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton. However, Haywire is clearly MMA pioneer Gina Carano’s show. As the lead character in her first feature film, Carano convincingly and confidently pulls off the action sequences and holds her own versus the boys. But if she wants to expand her Hollywood career, she’ll need more opportunities to flex her acting muscles because despite the spotlight, her lines were pretty limited in Haywire.

Reminiscent of some of the better parts of the Bourne trilogy, the highlight of Haywire is most definitely the gritty one-on-one combat. I loved how these music-free sequences began suddenly each time. Incorporating MMA moves and some slick editing and shots by Soderbergh, they showcase Carano in her element and may be the only bits of the movie that I’d watch again because Haywire doesn’t offer much beyond the fantastic fights in close quarters.

Like the polar opposite of the Ocean’s trilogy, the occasional stabs at humor in Haywire flop every single time, further underlining the notion that the movie probably should have stuck with its strengths. Without those striking showcases of choreography, Haywire is just another generic action spy thriller. Everything that happens is likely something you’ve seen before already. But although I’m giving it the same grade as I did to Contagion, Haywire isn’t as disappointing. Haywire gets 2.5 out of 5 stars or C+ or Okay.

Our Rating2.5

Average

by / Staff

User Rating 3
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Good

based on 3 votes cast

Our Rating2.5

Average

by / Staff

User Rating3
Please wait...

Good

based on 3 votes cast

  • Yeah, Soderbergh knows how to make a good film and it was nice for once not seeing a 90lb Angelina Jolie or Zoe Saldana beat the shit out of guys double their size, but the movie overall didn’t feel like anything special. Typical Soderbergh with his Ocean’s score that didn’t seem too fitting for this film without the intelligent heist plot and more genetic spy story.

    I heard a lot of praise over this film’s realistic fight scenes, but I guess I’ve been spoiled by other crazier action sequences and these fight scenes just seemed boring. I liked the realistic fighting and appreciate that it’s trying to be different by not being a more grirry and not an over-the-top fake sequence, but if I want to see Gina beat some ass I’ll just re-watch some of her real MMA fights.