Mania Grade: B
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- Rated: R
- Cast: Gina Carano, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Bandera
- Written By: Lem Dobbs
- Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
- Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2012
- Extras: See Below
Haywire Blu-Ray Review
Gina Carano kicking ass and taking names
By Tim Janson
May 01, 2012
It’s been a long time since there’s been as many resources put behind a new and unproven actor as we have in Haywire. In fact, we might have to go all the way back to Superman and Christopher Reeve. And even then while Reeve may have been unproven it’s still Superman. I mean you have a two time Oscar winner in Michael Douglas; multiple Golden Globe nominees in Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas; a Screen Actors Guild winner in Michael Fassbender; a solid character actor, Bill Paxton; and one of today’s hot young actors in Channing Tatum. And their all on hand to support Gina Carano, a MMA fighter turned actress in her debut role. Carano’s story in getting the role is one of those literal old Hollywood discovery stories. Director Steven Soderbergh saw her fighting on TV and decided to develop a movie for her on the spot.
Carano stars as Mallory Kane, a covert operative who works for a private security firm contracted by the U.S. Government. Much of the story is told in flashback sequences by Kane to a civilian teenager whose car she commandeers (along with him) as she escapes from another agent who is trying to kill her. Mallory’s boss Kenneth (McGregor) sends her on a mission to Dublin with a British MI6 agent (Fassbender) posing as her husband. However when the agent attempts to kill her, Mallory realizes that Kenneth has set her up. Returning back to the States, she contacts CIA Agent Coblenz (Douglas) who reveals he’s had suspicions about Kenneth but cannot help her at the moment. Now on the run from Kenneth’s other agents and local law enforcement after she’s accused of murder, Mallory has to clear her name and help her father (Paxton) before Kenneth’s agents can get to him.
Despite the strong supporting cast around her, the film still hinges on Carano. Soderbergh doesn’t treat her with kid gloves because she’s new. He could have very easily let the more experience cast members hog the limelight but he doesn’t. They are true supporting roles and Carano handles the lead role with surprising skill. She doesn’t deliver her lines with a lot of emotion but at the same time she’s relatively fluid. There are a lot of actors who have been around for years that don’t seem as comfortable as Carano does. She’s attractive but not in a bombshell sort of way and thus she’s far more believable in a very physical role than say someone like Scarlett Johansson.
And speaking of physical roles, this is where Carano truly excels. With her MMA skills to back her up she’s able to deliver several incredible fight scenes and also perform her own stunts. Her style is far less choreographed that you see most other female actors perform and again, makes her that much more believable. Soderbergh keeps the action moving with a story filled with plot twists which border on convoluted. But there’s nothing wasted in Haywire. Soderbergh doesn’t muck up the action with unnecessary shootouts and car chases. Everything has its place and the gears roll along smoothly. It will be interesting to see if Carano develops into the next big female action star or ends up resigned to “B” roles like Cynthia Rothrock.
Gina Carano in Training (16:03) Shows the intense training that Carano went through, both physical as well as weapons training,
The Men of Haywire (5:29) Interviews with the various male supporting actors