Title - Haywire


I really can’t say why this movie was made. There hasn’t been a dirth of Female Action Stars, that said I did enjoy this movie despite have absolutely no plot.

(from here, there be spoilers!)



Haywire is about a female mercenary  who is set up by her employer to take the fall for an assassination. When another merc fails to kill here, she proceeds to beat or kill anyone between her and her former employer.

The Film is told, mostly in flashback, with some scenes outside the knowledge of the narrator.


TheReview - Haywire

I did like this film, all the actors, even Channing Tatum, are really stepping up. I think that has to do with Soderbergh’s directing.

The Lead, Gina Carano, who is kind of the weakest actor in this, is still very fun to watch. She can deliver the lines well enough for a former MMA fighter, but she is also not to big to not look feminine when she needs too. I actually think that she is playing to her strengths in this film.

The Rest of the cast really seem to be trying to make her look good, which I think speaks better of them as actors and people.

The Story – 5.67

TheStory - Haywire

Lem Dobbs wrote one of my favorite movies of all time, Dark City, and was uncredited on Romancing the Stone, also a childhood favorite. If you have not seen The Limey, or the Score, just stop now and check them out, you will enjoy them.

To be honest, I can’t really pin down Dobbs’ voice in this one, though I can see a little of the twisting from The Score, but this does show what an action movie can do with a good writer

The Concept is basically a standard 80’s action film, the kind that died out in the 90’s because of a flood from VHS and Steven Segal.

As much as I say that there is no plot, I still love the story being told here. It’s a vengeance tale and you actually want the heroine to beat the ever loving hell out of the bad guys. This is the sort of movie that Cythia Rothrock would have done in the 90’s and that would be campy good. This was just good good.

That said the dialogue, where there is any, is just average. But, that does help the lead blossom in the story, you really don’t want the tough as nails merc to be wordy, and Gina Carano appears to know her current limitations and that will help her move beyond those limitations.

Acting – 6.13


Gina Carano – It is a joy to watch her beat up Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbinder and Ewan McGregor, and she is able to carry the other scenes. She has the strongest performance in the film and is not overshadowed in scenes with Fassbinder and Douglas.

Channing Tatum – This is really a nice understated performance from Tatum. He nails his character and looks like he’s trying to play down the leading man persona that he’s been shoved into. This movie show what he can do when he doesn’t try to hog the screen and when he is given a funny secondary character.

Michael Fassbender – As an Irish mercenary and his fight scene telegraphed in the film and trailer, there really wasn’t much for Fassbinder to work with here. His turn is a lot like his character in Inglorious Basterds. You know he’s going to get beat to hell, but you still like watching the lead up.

Ewan McGregor – As the weaselly villain, McGregor does a passable job. I would have liked to see him be a bit more of the stereotypical merc villain  like Vernon Wells in Commando, but I think the weasel pencil pusher makes more sense in the real world. But I don’t buy that he and Gina’s character ever had a thing together or that he’d last two minutes in a fight with her.

Production – 7.75


Steven Soderbergh is probably one of the best non-auteur film makers out there. And by saying “non-auteur” I don’t mean that as a negative. There is something to say for a film maker that wants to make every kind of film and is actually willing to bend to the will and advice of others. Films are, after all, collaborations.

Soderbergh tends to move from vanity project to money film and back again. I’m not sure which this is, but considering he also directed Magic Mike this year, I suspect this was vanity. I have rarely been disappointed in his work that I’ve seen and this one will go on my shelf alongside Ocean’s 11.

Soderbergh really knows how to show action on film. He knows when to have a static camera, when to pan and also when to be handheld. There are long tracking shots and subtle establishing that really keep you immersed in the action. And there is, to my knowledge, no slow motion or elaborate CGI in the fighting, it is just Gina and the other actor fighting.

Soderbergh has years of experience keep the minimal dialogue in the top channel and doesn’t let us down here, even included the right background noise and dropping music out when it would be a distraction.

The editing is probably the best part of the production. The shots are allowed to linger, the fast cut is not overused. Most fight scenes are tracking shots. You never loose sight of who is fighting and the fights are presented in a way to show who has the upper hand at each moment, tilting from one side to the other.

Good Action needs Good editing.

The Good, the Bad, the Very Bad and the Weird. – 8.00

The Good…


Gina Carano – I really want Gina Carano to make more films, as long as they are of this same quality.

Carano/Fassbinder Fight – This is a brutal, very realistic fight.

Dublin Chase – The foot chase through Dublin is amazing, and more so when you remember that Carano does most of her own stunts in this.

Basic Plot – I guess this is more that the plot is simple and doesn’t try to make some statement about politics or violence in the world in general.

The Bad…

TheBad - Haywire

Lacks purpose – There are times that the plot slows as it waits for something to propell it forward. When the film is moving it works exceptionally well, but when it isn’t moving there is a chance for the momentum to fail.

The Very Bad…

TheVeryBad - Haywire

Again, there really wasn’t anything that broke this film form me.

…and the Weird.

TheWeird - Haywire

Antonio Banderas – He is so absolutely unnecessary in this film, but not in a bad way, just more leaving you saying “Why?”

Carano/McGregor Fight – There is really no point during this fight that you think that McGregor has any chance of winning.

Ewan McGregor – Sort of a corollary to the fight, McGregor never feels menacing at any point in the film and I’m not sure if that was intentional, or a consequence of McGregor not being menacing in reality.

The Conclusion

TheConclusion - Haywire

I’m not entirely sure why this film was made, but I am glad that it was.

A lot of filmmakers lose sight of the most important fact about film-making: Entertainment. A good film should entertain while it enlightens.

Final Score:

6 / 10



Video on Demnd

To clarify the rating system, a chart!

Recommendation out of 10 Alpha Metascore
See three times, buy the Blu-Ray day one! 10 A+ 100
See in the Theater more than once. 9 A 90.00 – 99.99
See in the Theater. 8 B+ 80.00 – 89.99
See at a Discount Theater. 7 B 70.00 – 79.99
Video on Demand, buy the Blu-Ray 6 C+ 60.00 – 69.99
Red Box 5 C 50.00 – 59.99
Netflix 4 D+ 40.00 – 49.99
Premium Cable 3 D 30.00 – 39.99
Basic Cable 2 F 20.00 – 29.99
Don’t watch. 1 FF 10.00 – 19.99
Run Away 0 FFF 00.00 – 09.99

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