Film Pulse Score

Release Date: January 20, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Steven Soderbergh
FilmPulse Score: 7.5/10

Steven Soderbergh has made a name for himself in Hollywood not only for his big budget blockbusters like the Ocean’s 11 movies and Traffic, but he also likes to work on small projects such as Full Frontal, Sex Lies and Video Tape, The Girlfriend Experience, and now Haywire.

It seems pertinent to mention Soderbergh’s previous work, because like nearly all his other films, Haywire has his signature style attached from the beginning. But can he translate this style into a hardcore action film? Read on to find out.

Haywire stars first-time actress and MMA fighter Gina Carano as an operative for hire who gets burned by her handler and vows revenge while clearing her name.  If this plot sounds familiar, it is. Fortunately, this film has more than enough action to make up for what it lacks in plot.

And boy does it have some action. Gina Carano kicks so much ass in this film, I felt bad for the actors and stunt doubles that had to go up against her. The fight scenes are amazing and brutal, and are often presented as very short and quick bursts of violence resulting in someone getting their face pounded by the film’s heroine. The other very interesting thing about the fight scenes is that there is no music during them. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but when you see the first fight in the film, you realize how real and visceral it becomes when the only thing you hear is the brutality you’re witnessing on screen.

As with all Soderbergh movies, we’re given an incredible cast with this movie. Michael Douglas, Ewen McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Bandaras, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, and Michael Angarano round out the cast and all give decidedly good performances. Channing Tatum seems like a pretty decent actor when compared to Gina Carano, but she does a passable job for her first acting gig.

This film is unfortunately not without flaws however. The plot is weak and at times it felt like we were just seeing filler until the next action set piece began. I feel that with this much talent behind, and in front of, the camera we could have seen a more engaging story. The film’s climax also felt a bit strange. The final showdown seemed like it was supposed to be more epic, but something happened in the interim. The sad thing is that the film started off so strong but hiccupped at the end.

Haywire is a good movie that had the potential to be a great movie.  That being said, it’s still a good movie and is definitely worth checking out. With some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie, and a very cool car chase scene, Haywire is an absolute must-see for anyone wanting to see some top-notch action.

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