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Thursday, February 2, 2012

[6.75/10] Haywire (2012)


Haywire (2012)

Brief review: After last year's hugely underrated gem, "Contagion", Steven Soderbergh brings us his latest project "Haywire" - a fast-paced and finely-crafted spy thriller, that despite some overused plot cliches, still engages with its well-structured storyline, spot-on execution and thrilling action scenes. Although "Haywire" is a bit ordinary in terms of aesthetics, Soderbergh's distinctive visual style is still recognizable, plus, the film impresses with nice variety of settings, including Barcelona, Dublin and New Mexico. There is no intense music or loud sound effects during the action scenes, but that doesn't make them less exciting. The fights themselves are realistic, well-shot and brutal as hell, and contrast well with the funky and absolutely mesmerizing original score by David Holmes. Newcomer Gina Carano is by no means a great actress, but she nevertheless delivers a believable, down-to-earth portrayal as the young and feisty female spy, Mallory. Behind her cute Britney Spears-like face and sexy curvy body, she hides a strong powerful woman with big brains and incredible skills. Since the main focus throughout the film is on Mallory, none of the other A-list actors really shine. Having said that, all the supporting cast including Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano and Channing Tatum do a solid job despite their extremely limited screen time.

Overall summary: While certainly not one of Soderbergh's strongest and most memorable films, "Haywire" still works in a simple but very effective way, thanks to its sharp, well-written script, excellent ensemble cast, and straight and clear, yet somewhat stylish direction.

14 comments:

Craig Edwards said...

Sounds good to me! I like when a director mixes things up on his resume and doesn't just keep making the same kind of movie - or worse, the same movie - over and over again. I will hopefully get the chance to check this out. Nice review, Mr. Nebular!

Melissa Bradley said...

I still have to see this, I love the way Steven took a tired, cliched genre and flipped it. I am so tired of male action stars with cute females they have to rescue or drag along for the ride. They always scream, hold the gun wrong and fall on the run. Stupid bitches!

Gina Carano is really coming on. She seems to better her performances with each new role she takes. And she's a real MMA fighter who knows how to kick ass and go balls to the wall with the men. Soderbergh wrote the film after he saw her fight.

Maynard Morrissey said...

Yay, I heard you'll get a copy of Nailbiter!!!

Nebular said...

Craig, it is good, just not one of Soderbergh's best. I agree, he's quite versatile, and that's one of the reasons I like him as a director. I do hope you'll be able to see it soon.

Thanks a lot for the compliment, buddy. Appreciate it. :)

Nebular said...

Mel, I think you're really going to enjoy this one, because I know how much you like strong female characters. Girl power! Right? :)

I had no idea that Gina is a real MMA fighter. That pretty much explains her fighting skills. LOL. So she was the inspiration for this movie? She must be very proud! :)

Nebular said...

Maynard, yay indeed! :) Yesterday, I wrote Patrick an e-mail, explaining who am I and how much excited I am about his new film. He said that he will be glad to send me a screener of Nailbiter, and now I'm over the moon. :) I can't thank you enough for the review and the support, Harry. Otherwise I wouldn't have had the chance to see this indie horror gem. :)

Nicole✗✗ said...

YES!! I have been wanting to see this and your great review has me even more excited to see this. I'm a sucker for any film with kick ass women.

Nebular said...

Nicole, glad to see you excited about this one. Well, it didn't exceed my expectations, but it certainly met them. :) Gina really kicks some ass in this film. You'll love her.

farawayeyes said...

Saw a preview and it looked interesting, BUT I'm tired of the 'literal' kick-ass women. Interesting that this actress is a real MMA fighter, but I would still rather see a strong woman using her intellect to overcome the men as opposed to her fists and feet.

Maybe I'll rent it.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, as I mentioned in my review above, Mallory has both the skills and the brains, so she's not your typical one-dimensional kick-ass female character. Give this one a shot, I think you may end up pleasantly surprised. :)

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

I haven't heard much about this one, but I love Soderbergh (Contagion was soooo good) so I'm down for seeing this one. And yes, I've seen Gina Carano's MMA fights and she is awesome and beautiful. Curious to see how her acting is.

Nebular said...

Michele, it was sadly very overlooked, that's why you haven't heard of it much. I'm glad I saw it, it was a solid, well-made and realistic spy thriller, and Gina is a true badass chick!:)

venoms5 said...

When I first read Carano was doing movies a year or so ago, I assumed she was going the DTV route like others had done. So kudos to her for getting to shine on the big screen nationwide. She's really feisty in her MMA fights, too.

It would be cool if there were a successful series of kung fu girls with guns movies that was on overdrive in HK back in the mid 80s into the 90s. The things those ladies did was incredible. The closest we got was CHARLIES ANGELS.

Nebular said...

venoms5, I've never seen Gina Carano fighting in MMA, but I bet he kicks ass there too. For a first-ever performance, her acting was solid I must say.

I AGREE 100%. I'd love to see more movies like this. For me, there's nothing cooler that feisty kung fu girls with swords... or guns. :)