06 May 2012

Movies: Haywire

Haywire (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1506999/

Action / Adventure / Thriller

Mallory Kane, a black-ops contractor, gets sent on a mission to Dublin, Ireland, only to have things go off the rails when the agent on the op with her tries to kill her. She escapes with her life and realizes she's being hunted by the company she works for and the US Government. She makes her way back to the states to protect her father and track down those who betrayed her.

Not the first time we've seen a film about an agent being set-up, double-crossed and hunted while trying to clear their name. Not the last time we'll have one either. So it then falls on the film to have a compelling enough story, great action scenes, a good cast, and be entertaining.
This film doesn't fail in any of those categories.

Stars Gina Carano as Mallory Kane. This is her first lead role, although she was in one film before this one in a supporting role. Prior to this film she was in the first-ever sanctioned women's MMA bout. She's a Muay Tai / MMA fighter by trade. However when Haywire film director Steven Soderbergh saw her fight in the ring he decided he wanted to make a film starring her. This is that film. She's a natural on screen. Especially in the action scenes. Good screen presence and charisma.
Rounding out the cast includes Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor. Yeah, Soderbergh went full A-list casting this film to support Carano's film debut. Soderbergh has produced and directed plenty of films (Oceans 11,12,13, The Informant!, Contagion, Solaris, to name a few) and his experience in strong story, editing, development results in a solid film again.

Well, I said solid film, but there are some bits that are a little out there. Like hairstyle changes, camo makeup, finding a guy at a specific location with just "he was spotted in this country" information to go on. I suspect those things happen as a result of editing out the set-ups for time and pacing. Such leaps aren't new to any action films and this film was entertaining enough that I give 'em a pass in this film too. 

The fight scenes are amazing. Great locations and sets. Realistic weapons handling too. You can tell (and it is confirmed by DVD extras) that Gina Carano trained for her role. For being new to acting Carano did surprisingly well. I know it helps having the vets around her to support her performance, but she had plenty of her-only scenes that she did well in too.  I look forward to seeing her cast in more films. She did well, looked great on screen, and I suspect

So if you're in the mood for a solid thriller/action flick with well choreographed fight scenes you won't go wrong watching this one.

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