haywire, the legacy of bourne, bond and a good old fashion fight

Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.
Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious and dangerous trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes she’ll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.
 
Run Time: 93min.
Theatrical Release Date: 01/20/2012
Status: In Theaters
Relativity Media
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Lem Dobbs
With: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Mathieu Kassovitz, Michael Angarano
(details from Moviefone)
 
 

you can definitely see Soderbergh’s hand in this, but there are many many references to other films and directors. it looks like what influenced this film most was the Bourne style, what with the lots of action and music and spywork. more like the work of Doug Liman rather than the second and third installments by Greengrass. the action here in haywire is as pure as it was in the first Bourne film, with just the right amount of espionage secrecy and a lot of personality for the main character, Gina Carano’s extraordinary performance as super soldier for hide Mallory Kane.
Carano, former MMA champion, shows a lot of skill (of course) but also surprises for a gentle and unobtrusive acting ability that almost obscures the performance of all others in the huge cast. she fights with Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan Mcgregor. she interacts with none other than Michael Douglas and faces off with Antonio Banderas. yet the attention always seems to fall on her, and not only in the amazing fight sequences. two are bound to be recognized as best fights in a long while: the long take with Fassbender is mesmerizing, a violent and sexy brawl in a hotel room that proceeds quietly sound wise, but with unparalled intensity. then she beats up McGregor, another sight, intriguing moves and the best part is that it’s no superhuman farce, it all looks very real and little rehearsed (which, to me, is very good in a few occasions).

there’s some intrigues but they do not dominate the plot or the dialogues, which is a huge plus.

for its flashbacks and jumps it looks a lot like Contagion, but not as hard to follow.

the one thing i’m not really sure about it the soundtrack. though very appropriate, somewhat vintage and bond-esque (again, much like the Bourne Trilogy), is a bit too overwhelming and sometimes obscures the voices or the actions. Less is best, but then again it did work very well for Soderbergh in the Ocean franchise.

the best thing Haywire has to offer is its simplicity. it’s a classic espionage anti-hero tale of action that entertains, very well acted and directed.

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