Haywire is a Mixed Bag

A Relativity Media (in U.S.) release presented with the participation of Bord Scannan na hEireann/Irish Film Board. Produced by Gregory Jacobs. Executive producers, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Michael Polaire. Co-producer, Kenneth Halsband. Co-executive producer, Alan Moloney. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Screenplay, Lem Dobbs.
Mallory Kane – Gina Carano 
Paul – Michael Fassbender 
Kenneth – Ewan McGregor
John Kane – Bill Paxton 
Aaron – Channing Tatum 
Rodrigo – Antonio Banderas 
Coblenz – Michael Douglas

As critics, it is often hard to separate Love for a filmmaker from critical analysis of his latest work.  This was certainly the case when the Hollywood Foreign Press awarded the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay to Woody Allen’s mediocre “Midnight In Paris”  over far better films like “The Help” and “Moneyball”.  And today, I am having the same conundrum over Steven Soderbergh’s latest, Haywire.

TGATP is an admitted Soderbergh fan.  I loved “Traffic” and his “Ocean’s Eleven” was the rare occasion when the remake was better than the original.  However, “Haywire” presents a real dilemma.  It doesn’t completely suck since it is Soderbergh.  But if it was anyone else, it would completely suck.  Like Rodriquez’s “Machete”, its genius may be in its awfulness.

What exactly happens is a bit confusing.  The plot gets so convoluted that I will have to see  it again to figure out all of the ins and outs.  But basically, the story centers around an assassination attempt on spy-for-hire, Mallory Kane (Mixed Martial Arist Gina Garano in her film debut) and her quest to both get to the bottom of her betrayal and exact revenge against the perpetrators.

While I give her an “A” for effort. Carano is robotic and wooden in that way that all athletes from Schwarzenegger  to Van Damme, that make the jump to the big screen, are.  Unless Carano is fighting, she is just plain awful.  She lacks heat even in the sex scene with yummy eye-candy Channing Tatum.  But to be fair, most action heroes can’t act.  In addition, a star like Angelina Jolie in the role might have distracted from the low-key vibe of the film.  Carano’s talent is that she can kick some serious movie ass!  If you are a fan of movie fight scenes, Haywire has a series of real doozies and delivers the best female-on-male ass lickings since Doug Liman’s “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”.  The rest of the cast – Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender (will I ever be able to look at him the same again after Clooney’s assessment?), Ewan McGregor, and Bill Paxton – are stellar as villans and allies.

Delivering his usual mix of  snappy dialogue filmed in multiple exotic locales, Soderbergh describes Haywire as “a Pam Grier movie made by Alfred Hitchcock” and I would agree.  With a revenge plot full of holes and cheesy acting from the lead,  Haywire does, indeed, feel like an homage to ’70s exploitation films.  It is the sort of campy  fare that I love.  However, it is not for everyone.

That Girl At the Party

I am a proud blogger of 11 years, Founder of Canappetit, PR person, Web and Cannabis Entrepreneur, Founder of the LTN Card, the Let Love Festival and the Henley Foundation, aunt to 12 and human to Bodhi and Yoko Rey

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