For those of you who don’t know, Tuesdays are new release days. That is for DVD and CD releases (comics are on Wednesday and new movies tend to be on Friday). This week the new release that has me the most interested is Haywire by Steven Soderbergh, starring Gina Carano, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas and Michael Fassbender. If you have been paying attention to this blog then you know I really like some of the concepts that drive this film. Mainly it is the idea that the best person to hire in an acting role is a person who has in some way lived the life style of the character.
In this movie, professional MMA fighter, Gina Carano plays Mallory Kane, a former soldier who has turned into a professional hit woman/mercenary. As a lead actress in this particular role, Carano is good. She does need a few acting lessons but The movie is built around her actual ability to fight. Some critics have said that Soderbergh failed in his attempt to make an action film. That he does not have the ability to film intense action sequences. I disagree with this assessment. To me, Soderbergh does the exact right thing by pulling the camera back and allowing us to see every movement Carano makes.
As an action film fan and a martial artist, I have grown a little bit tired of the insane close up fight sequences where you as the viewer can’t tell who is doing what to whom. I can’t tell you how many times in recent years I have watched a fight sequence, unsure of which character has the upper hand until the bodies hit the floor. In Haywire we get to see the fight play out at a distance and in full view as though we were watching it in real life. Every single body movement is showcased.
At times the story does seem to get a little bit on the convoluted side. I saw the film in January when it came out in theaters and don’t really remember all of the intricacies. I do remember that it has something to do with a botched black ops mission. The reality is that all of this is designed very clearly by everyone on this film to be nothing more than a backdrop for the action sequences. To be frank, I wasn’t surprised by lack of story at all. I had a similar problem with the Oceans trilogy. The ends of the films in particular, I found convoluted. Every time I try to remember them I can recall almost no details as to how the actual heists took place.
As I mentioned above, Carano is stiff on-screen but the caliber of actor that surrounds her, totally counteracts her clunky acting. In fact in some way’s it highlights her somewhat robotic performance and makes it seem as though she is doing more with her character than she really is. The act of filling the movie with actors like McGregor, Fassbender and Douglas only helps to make Carano’s Mallory Kane seem even more like a heartless killer.
If you like action flicks, this one is worth seeing. That is all.