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Monday, May 21, 2012

Haywire (2011)

Haywire (2011) -  QUICK HIT! After hurting my back digging in the garden yesterday I settled onto the couch with an icepack and watched this thriller action film starring MMA fighter Gina Carano. She plays Mallory Kane a secret operative who is set up by her boss/ex? She figures it out and comes for him as one would expect in a film with such a scenario. It is an action film but boy was it missing something? For a while it was hard to put my finger on it. The actions scenes filled with MMA fight moves were well done and Carano is expertly trained to fit the roll. The fight scenes were done without a soundtrack making the grunting and panting the more noticeable and believable. Still something was missing, in the end it is a clear story narrative. Because Carano is not an actor, director Steven Soderbergh could not rely on her to carry the film. Instead he split the story into a collection of disjointed flashbacks told by Carano to a hostage as they drive down a wintery road. This fracturing really took the wind out of the first third of the film and failed to build into a compelling climax later on. Soderbergh also just made the film too quiet, which can work if the actor being focused on is compelling but in this film that is not the case, so instead the quiet was boring. Included in the boredom was reference to foreign locations that were never explored. So if you are in Barcelona or Dublin one would think that a way to make the movie more interesting would be to show some really recognizable locations in those cities. Instead the camera is close and personal the entire time meaning it did not matter where the characters were. Also in an action film it is good to have a very bad Bad Guy but this film had the quiet and coniving Kenneth who just was not threatening in any way. Her showed little emotion as we learn he set Mallory up, and really does nothing to show what a prick he is. There just was not a active evil in him it was more a passive bad.
  As stated Carano was poor at the acting side and I guess because of this limitation had very few lines, the supporting cast Ewan McGregor as her boss and bad guy Kenneth, Michael Angarano as her hostage, who really had little to do except be afraid. Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton and Antonio Banderas all were adequate. Still though because the story was so poorly told there had to be a scene in the last quarter of the film that explained what happened in the film we just watched. If there is a sign of a weak story this is it. The writer or director gets to the point that they give up and just tells the story through exposition between a couple character. So needless to say I will not be recommending this film. It may be that I just didn't understand what the film makers were trying to do but it did not work for me.
Rating (4.0) 5.0 and up are recommended, some more recommended than others.

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