Sunday, February 19, 2012
212 in 2012: Haywire
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Written By: Lem Dobbs
Time: 93 min
Starring: Gina Carano, Channing tatum, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender
Plot: Beautiful freelance covert operative Mallory Kane is hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can't authorize and heads of state would rather not know about. After a mission to rescue a hostage in Barcelona, Mallory is quickly dispatched on another mission to Dublin. When the operation goes awry and Mallory finds she has been double crossed, she needs to use all of her skills, tricks and abilities to escape an international manhunt, make it back to the United States, protect her family, and exact revenge on those that have betrayed her.
Comments: I like Steven Soderbergh. he has his own style and flair and he does a variety of genres. When I first saw Haywire it looked quite different than Contagion which we rented a few months ago. Granted it also looked a hell of a lot like the Bourne Identity but with a hot chick. no big deal. It also had Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor and Michael Douglas as well. Finn and I were psyched for a little grown up Hanna action. Sadly Steven missed the mark in a big way with this one. So lets start with the bad and leave with a high note.
The bad: The script is not good. The dialogue is pretty dismal, Gina Carano seems to have taken Kristen Stewart’s acting classes with her monotone delivery and I didn't think you could make the spy/thriller genre so dull. I guess I was wrong. For one, the pacing was slow, the editing flat and did I mention the bad dialogue so full of pointless pausing that it took out any adrenaline the fight scenes may offer. While I dug the static framing of the fight scenes, the rest of the film seemed so restricted that it removed all of the fun tension out of potentially awesome and thrilling action flick. I also think that the flashback way of storytelling was making things far more confusing than it needed it to be. And while I dug Michael Fassbender and Ewan their characters are as flat as the film. Plus they are just stereotypes (the former lover who wants to kill her, the suave James Bond type spy, The Muscle, the Comedic Relief). But lets move onto the good.
The Good: I actually enjoyed Gina Carano for her fighting skills. And I enjoyed the fight scenes. Finn said she likes her fight scenes with a bit more finesses. I enjoyed the quiet, no seriously this is how it would go down bleakness of it all. Because her day job is as a mixed martial arts champ the fight scenes are believable. Soderbergh said he saw her and wanted to make a film a round her talents kind of the way Tarantino did with stuntwoman goddess Zoe Bell. I can see why. She definitely has presence. She does the fight scenes with ease and while not the most amazing actress Soderbergh made her character Mallory a very detached and cool character which helps make up for that. In a way it works (however the editing slows it down too much and sometimes makes Mallory pretty dull when she isn't kicking the asses of men twice her size).
In the end while I love that Soderbergh made a film with a kick ass female lead, I wanted a bit more than what I got.
Rent/Cinema? Redbox it.