Haywire (2012)

Having arranged to meet her employer at a lonely diner in Upstate New York, Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) is instead attacked by Aaron (Channing Tatum), a fellow contract operative with whom she worked on an assignment in Barcelona. Escaping with a young civilian named Scott (Michael Angarano) Mallory seeks revenge on Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), the man who set her up. Along the way, Mallory explains the circumstances that led to her situation, detailing the job in Barcelona and the repercussions it had on a later trip to Dublin, during which she was betrayed by British agent Paul (Michael Fassbender).

Steven Soderbergh’s latest step towards retirement, Haywire, is not an easy film to like. Opening with loaded glances galore and vague references to various European capital cities, an almighty slab of backstory is then dropped on Angarano’s Scott as the audience tries desperately to catch up. Many have attributed the film’s failings to newcomer Carano, a mixed martial artist plucked from the ring and tasked with carrying her own movie, but in my eyes it is Soderbergh’s direction that is the film’s biggest weakness. A convoluted and confused plot, a series of pencil sketched antagonists and a poorly integrated non-linear structure results in a film which ticks along with no real tension or pace.

Considering her lack of experience, Carano actually fares rather well. While she mightn’t offer a particularly emotional performance, you’d be misremembering if you were to claim that other genre stalwarts such as Boure or Bond were particularly prone to public displays of affection themselves. Kane carries herself with confidence and authority, holding her own against the likes of Fassbender’s man behind the donkey punch, government agent Michael Douglas and Puss In Beards himself, while also managing to compel the narrative on her own terms. Where she might pass admirably through the film’s quieter moments, she truly excels during the film’s numerous action beats. The walls shake with every punch, you feel every fall and when a deer jumps out in front of Kane’s speeding car, you may as well be behind the wheel.

Despite the best efforts of all involved, then, Haywire is plagued by a slapdash attitude towards plot, a strangely incongruous soundtrack and a beach-set denoument which seems desperately low on the air-punching glee of similar revenge-driven movies. Next time you decide to have tumble-weed blow across the runway during a third-act scene-setter, Soderbergh, try at least to make it ironic.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Haywire (2012)

  1. Pingback: January 2012 – Your Mom Got Chased By A Shark Once « popcornaddict

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