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Haywire (2012) Movie Review

January 23, 2012

Action movies have moved in the direction of quick cuts and CGI in recent years.  Thankfully, “Haywire” reminds audiences of how much more exciting a fight scene can be when you aren’t struggling to figure out who is punching whom in the face.  Directed by Steven Soderbergh, “Haywire” follows private military contract fighter Mallory (Gina Carano) as she tries to make sense of past missions in which it appears as if her employer tried to set her up.  Thanks to a history in mixed martial arts, Carano fits perfectly in her role as an experienced fighter.

The plot is bare in the beginning and slow to take off, partially pulled down by some poor performances by some actors in the beginning.  I couldn’t help but feel that much of this would have been improved by the use of a better camera.  I felt a similar disconnect with the film “Public Enemies” that I blame mostly on the camera used, which robbed the film of the cinematic flair.  Thankfully, the film picks up soon and starts to explain the plot so that much of the early plodding dissipates.   I was also drawn back into the film thanks to fantastic performances by Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, and Ewan McGregor.  Ewan McGregor has a large role in the film and his acting restores a feeling of realism that was otherwise lacking.

The action sequences are the main draw of the film and, thanks to some fantastic shooting are always exhilarating.  While there are still frequent cuts in the action, they don’t distract from the focus or confuse the audience as to what is really going on.  The film’s soundtrack was composed by David Holmes, who is best known for his work on the Ocean’s Trilogy.  The music sounds largely like what I would expect from an Ocean’s film, heavy on the jazz that has become ubiquitous with heist films.  The music is often given center stage and fits the movie well although thankfully it is largely absent during the tense fight sequences.  “Haywire” is a solid thriller that is driven by quality action and acting.  It is a worthy rental that should not be missed, although it doesn’t demand theatrical viewing.

3.5/5

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