Release Date: 18th January 2012
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum
Running Time: 93mins
Forget Salt and think Bond girl but with balls, the star of Steven Sodabergh’s Haywire isn’t an actress and there is nothing fake about her moves, as she throws grown men through walls, against banisters and engages in slightly sexual fight scenes that make you wish that you were the pillow on her bed.. Her name’s Gina Cararno, MMA (mixed martial arts) World Champion and she’ll leave bruises on your eyeballs after watching this.
Amidst the crashes, bangs and wallops (of which there are more than plenty) there’s actually some substance, a plot with decent twists and turns that will actually keep you guessing and considering that the man who gave us Oceans 11 and earlier in his career Sex, Lies and Videotape it’s not surprising in the slightest. Whether he is giving an ensemble cast their orders or coaxing a performance from a porn star like in The Girlfriend Experience, he always puts his players front and centre, Haywire is no exception, in fact the only reason this film was crafted was because he saw Gina throw-down in a MMA fight.
Mallory (Carano) is our girl, she’s an ex-black ops agent and currently she’s freelancing, she’s a gun for hire, her boss and awkwardly ex-boyfriend is Kenneth (McGregor ) who is a private government security contractor, and she travels the globe for a living performing contract killings, eye-candy assignments and generally throws a lot of punches and shoots a lot of rounds from various triggers.
As is regularly the case in this dangerous line of work she meets some bad people, does business for them, they take advantage and she finds herself double-crossed with her back against a wall. Her revelation of what has happened is easily one of the best scenes in the film and sees a face-off between her and Fassbender that makes anything in X-Men:First Class look rather tame.
The difference with Haywire and your regular run-of-the-mill action flick is sophistication, the plot is a little bit complicated and doesn’t explain everything that you see, it’s a film for adults, not teenagers and kids. Due to this advanced structure, at times it is a little bit disjointed. We first meet Mallory waiting for an ex-colleague in a cafe on the roadside, moments later a fight breaks out and she has stolen a car, high-jacked it’s driver who’s merrily going about his business and begins tells her horrific tale to said stranger (whom she’s forcing to drive a car) via a series of anecdotes and the audience tries to keep up.
A film with bite, with sass, a great script and one that’s launching the woman who is now front and centre for an action girl, move aside Angelina Jolie your boots have been filled.