Haywire (DVD)

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Haywire (DVD)

Mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano makes her feature-film debut as a lethal government contractor who's betrayed by her own agency in this action ...

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Review of "Haywire (DVD)"

published 03/04/2017 | gothic_moon
Member since : 23/09/2005
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Good
Pro Energetic pace, choreographed action, fairly strong line-up
Cons Not overly memorable, bland premise perhaps, a bit cheesy & unrealistic
exceptional
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"It's All Gone Haywire"

Action galore

Action galore


Haywire falls within the action thriller genre and was directed by Steven Soderbergh. He’s worked in various capacities on numerous flicks over the years, including as a director for the likes of Ocean’s Twelve, Solaris and Contagion prior to Haywire. He has plenty of experience in the genre to bring to bear on this film, and I think it shows in the way in which Haywire is put together.


… Premise …

[ “They Left Her No Choice” ]

We are introduced to Mallory Kane, a black ops specialist who is basically contracted by a company to do freelance work on the behalf of the US government, hired by a guy named Alex. She’s sent on a covert op to Barcelona to rescue a hostage in a precarious situation, but she doesn’t get much time to do do any sightseeing because she’s quickly sent to Dublin. Here she meets the Irish assassin Paul, and things start to go pear-shaped. Kane is set-up and the betrayal lands her in danger as she’s suddenly the one being hunted. But fear not, for Kane is master of kicking butt and using her resources to outwit and outmanoeuvre others.

The rest of the film sees Kane at the centre of this international manhunt with no one she can trust, her own family in danger and an expanse of US soil to traverse while being chased by assassins as well as the authorities. We meet various other characters, including her father, during her travels and unravelling of the conspiracy against her. Can Mallory escape the clutches of those hot on her heels, keep her loved ones safe, and seek the revenge she desperately feels the burning need to exact?


… // …

In a nutshell, this black ops soldier extraordinaire gets set-up and decides to seek revenge. There’s nothing overly new to it when you boil it down, and sadly that’s how it feels when you watch it. You kind of get a sense of where things are going and that adds to the predictability factor. I wouldn’t say it breaks any new ground here nor does it offer anything new to the genre.


The cast includes Gina Carano (Mallory Kane), Ewan McGregor (Kenneth), Michael Douglas (Alex), Channing Tatum (Aaron), Antonio Banderas (Rodrigo) and Michael Angarano (Scott), among others. The line-up seems fairly impressive of the surface with some recognisable names and faces. However, Not all characters are equally featured, so, for instance, if you’re hoping to see a lot of Fassbender, you may be disappointed as his role isn’t so prominent.

Carano adds a degree of authenticity to the action sequences and kick ass moves, perhaps because of her real MMA training and skillset. Word has it she did most, if not all, of her own stunts, which is pretty impressive. It still comes across as being rather cheesy, because of the character and the nature of the premise, and some other cast members add to the cheddar effect. Thankfully, one or two, such as Banderas and McGregor, add a touch of credibility and ground the film, making it more believable and watchable.


The pace is quick and upbeat, keeping you engaged throughout. There were some slower moments but generally speaking it’s energetic and pumped up, which I like. There’s quite a bit of mindless action and some cleverly choreographed scenes to make it aesthetically pleasing. The soundtrack compliments the scenes nicely to add pizazz and give it a boost.

There was a lack of build up and follow through, I felt, with most of the film. We never quite get the full height of anticipation and expectation, and for what we do get, I can’t help but then feel a little let down by what follows. There was also a lack of believability, given the premise and nature of the film in general. Sometimes you can just ‘go with it’ and accept it for what it is, other times not so much.

I like the slight edge of humour here and there, dry sarcasm that lightens things up a little. Of course, this is all about the sexy femme fatale who is trained like a ninja with the strength of Hulk, all the while looking gorgeous. I’d like to think I’d look like that too after so much kicking ass.

I didn’t get the feeling there was a great deal of depth to many of the characters, nor a particularly strong bond between them. Individuals and relationships were drawn up and hung together throughout the flick, but weren’t given a whole heap of attention because that went on the action scenes. Ditto for the premise, which was more of a run-of-the mill affair just to hold the film loosely together while you enjoy the action sequences. As a result, you don’t get the same emotional bond or empathic feel when watching the premise progress; you kind of want to know the ending, even though you’ve already guessed at it, but you wouldn’t be too disappointed if there was a power cut either.


The estimated budget is was $23 mil, but sadly only grossed, by early on in 2012, nearly $19 mil. You can see that a lot of moolah went on the cast alone, and the rest was pumped into the effects and stunts. These were quite impressive and gave the film an overall decent quality feel to it for the most part, so it was polished nicely enough.

The flick received 7 nominations, but sadly only gets a rather mediocre 5.8 average on IMDB.

I would say that there are far worse action flicks out there, but equally there are better ones if you want something more intelligent in terms of premise and character development. It’s fun and energetic to keep you awake, but it’s a little cheesy, predictable and unrealistic to really grip or set it apart from the crowd.


DVD released 2012, running time 89 minutes, rated Certificate 15.
DVD selling on Amazon for £1.40.

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Comments on this review

  • Pointress published 08/04/2017
    vh
  • jb0077 published 07/04/2017
    E from me.
  • euphie published 06/04/2017
    e :o)
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Product Information : Haywire (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano makes her feature-film debut as a lethal government contractor who's betrayed by her own agency in this action thriller from writer Lem Dobbs (THE LIMEY) and director Steven Soderbergh (TRAFFIC, CONTAGION). Mallory Kane (Carano) is the woman the U.S. government calls on to take care of their dirty work. She's fast, efficient, and -- perhaps most important of all -- clean. But when Mallory makes the mistake of saving a Chinese journalist from certain death, she becomes an enemy to the very same government she once served. Mallory isn't going down without a fight, though, and after a close brush with death, she realises that the only way to save her own life is to reveal the government's deception. Now, as assassins close in from all sides in an ominous attempt to silence her forever, Mallory sets a trap and races to reveal a massive deception that threatens global stability. Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, and Bill Paxton co-star.

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