Haywire (2011) Directed by Steven Soderbergh. With Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas.
Real life mixed martial arts star, Gina Carano, convincingly beats up the blokes in this lean Steven Soderbergh action thriller. Brimming with star turns and ignoring any kind of over complexity, Soderbergh’s film is all about tempo. Instead of using rapid fire cutting to accentuate and heighten danger, (Chris Nolan/Paul Greengrass anyone?) the camera just holds to pay witness to the exhilarating action.
Script and plot are borderline non-existent, and Ewan McGregor’s American accent slips around a little, but from the off it’s all about Carano doing her stuff, supported by an impressive A-list cast.
So, does she carry it off? Oh yes! While the film itself isn’t going to leave a lasting impression, its star most certainly does. On a few occasions now, I’ve seen Angelina Jolie pummel guys three times her size into the ground, and although Jolie undoubtedly has the acting skills, the sight of her skinny frame doing extensively lethal damage has yet to fully convince. You can forget that with Carano. From the off, she rewrites the book on the female action star and looks more than a match for any of her male opponents. Carano dishes out the brutality while retaining femininity. It is both a welcome and surprising combination and an inspired piece of casting – more the shame then that the film itself lacks better ideas to support its eye-catching protagonist. 3/5