HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Pariah
Weapon, The
Godzilla vs. Kong
Love and Monsters
Tove
Young Wives' Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Haywire Hell Hath No Fury
Year: 2011
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Gina Carano, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, Mathieu Kassovitz, Aaron Cohen, Anthony Brandon Wong, Julian Alcaraz, Eddie J. Hernandez, Maximino Arciniega, Natascha Berg
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Agent Mallory Kane (Gina Carano) sits in a diner and waits for her contact to show up, but when she sees who has arrived she utters one word under her breath: "Shit!" He slides into the booth across from her and starts asking her what is going on, orders a coffee then when he does not receive the answers he wants, knocks her to the ground and begins pummelling her. But Mallory can give as good as she gets, and soon has the upper hand in the fight, leaving Aaron (Channing Tatum) beaten as she is assisted by another patron, Scott (Michael Angarano) - but he doesn't know what he's getting into.

If you ever wanted to know what a Bourne movie would be like if cult director Steven Soderbergh had directed it, then take a look at Haywire, where for all the remote and distant quality it portrayed if you were patient you could appreciate a deadpan sense of humour underneath the almost impenetrable spy shenanigans that our heroine has to negotiate. That heroine being played by mixed martial arts champion Carano, who had proved herself an expert fighter and had caught the attention of Soderbergh who decided to cast her in another of his dabblings in genre, this time the action thriller, the sort which featured hand to hand combat.

Perhaps it was the ironic look askance at such things that Soderbergh and his writer Lem Dobbs took, but there was something definitely "other" about Haywire which had it not quite fitting in with the more conventional action flick audiences would be used to. Why does it take so much time between the setpieces, they might ask, or how could a woman take on so many men in martial arts and beat them so soundly? There's a James Bond style character played by Michael Fassbender who was obviously included to put such suave macho men in their place, except by the time this was being made Daniel Craig's Bond was not so suave at all, another example of this film's inherent off kilter tone.

Not that it was made blatant from first minute to last, but if you responded to it then you might have a better time with Haywire than the average fan who wanted meatheaded violence and lots of it. Yet that aspect was there, so it's not as if the director could be accused of leaving it out - this wasn't a Jim Jarmusch take on the genre, after all, and there were no extraneous jokes or bits of business to embellish a plot which could be summed up by "Female agent is framed and takes her revenge". If anything, it was very pure in its realisation, so much so that when Mallory's father (Bill Paxton) showed up he seemed like an unnecessary addition, as if we didn't need to know so much about her personal life.

Though even that had a perfunctory quality, as if the proceedings here distilled the basics of the spy thriller down to hotels, globe trotting, looking attractive under extreme circumstances, and those circumstances including beating the living daylights out of someone who wants to do the same to you. Carano was recruited for her fighting ability, but was able to look perfectly personable in a cocktail dress, even if her hands were like shovels and she had the build of a bruiser, but her acting was not put to the test, which was presumably why around her were a collection of male guest stars who had proven themselves elsewhere to varying degrees, and would provide celeb power for a film which had a star who was virtually unknown outside of the women's combat ring. Therefore Ewan McGregor was the double crosser, Michael Douglas was the boss who can only do so much, Antonio Banderas had a bushy beard, you get the idea. Not all of them fought Carano, but Haywire was apart from the conventional, even as it courted it. Groovy music by David Holmes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2475 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Soderbergh  (1963 - )

Versatile American writer, director and producer whose Sex Lies and Videotape made a big splash at Cannes (and its title has become a cliche). There followed an interesting variety of small films: Kafka, King of the Hill, noir remake The Underneath, Schizopolis (which co-starred his ex-wife) and Gray's Anatomy.

Then came Out of Sight, a smart thriller which was successful enough to propel Soderbergh into the big league with The Limey, Erin Brockovich, Oscar-winning Traffic and classy remake Ocean's 11. When Full Frontal and his Solaris remake flopped, he made a sequel to Ocean's 11 called Ocean's 12, material he returned to with Ocean's 13. Che Guevara biopics, virus thriller Contagion and beat 'em up Haywire were next, with the director claiming he would retire after medication thriller Side Effects and Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra. He returned after a period of even greater activity with heist flick Logan Lucky and his first horror, Unsane.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: