'Haywire' (R) (3 STARS)
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Mattheu Kassovitz
"Haywire" is what a successful genre movie should be. For those who love action movies, spy movies and martial arts sit down with me and let me tell you about this wonderful present to you all. It is about time that I feel that a whole action franchise can be made about a kick ass female action star! Gina Carano is a retired MMA fighter and she is quite an action movie find, she kicks major ass! The fight scenes in "Haywire" are crisp, clean, beautifully choreographed and fun to watch. After "Haywire" you will hear a lot of young men and boys sighing and a lot of females cheering. I have never seen so many men get their ass kicked by a woman in a movie ever.
Gina Carano has major screen presence as super spy Mallory who in a wonderful opening scene is told by some mysterious man to come with him. Then you have the first of many awesome fight scenes as Mallory dispatches her first man. We then learn why Mallory is wanted as she is set up by her agency and a hit is put on her. I will not spoil all the plot machinations but I was really happy with this story and the fights. I have been complaining lately about all these lastest action movies that you can't follow in either the action scenes or story. "Haywire" has fights that are clearly choreographed and easy to take in and a story that is simple but fun and easy to follow. This is all I am asking for from my action movies. "Mission Impossible" and now "Haywire" have got the job done, this isn't brain surgery Hollywood!
I am loving what independent maverick Steven Soderbergh has done with his career! Along with movies like "Oceans 11" he has made specialized genre films and unique movies like this one and "The Girlfriend Experience". He has not just gone the safe Hollywood route, he tries different and risky projects. This is brave territory making an action movie with a female at it's center that could fall on it's face and bomb. What he does with "Haywire" is make a wonderful action movie that could have been made in the 70's as part of a kick ass double feature at a Drive-In theatre.
Gina Carano does a surprisingly solid acting job, she has charm, is tough, sexy and man can she kick butt! I admit I am now hooked and I hope she makes more action movies, she is hot! I have been screaming for a major female action star for years. There are so many stock, thankkless roles for actresses while men get to have all the fun. I hope this is a new trend for I miss the old days of Ripley from "Aliens" and "Thelma and Louise" and I am talking 80's and 90's here. This is a great action movie and not only will men eat it up women will have a cathartic experience as they see a woman beat the crap out of bad men! Should I dare say this is a great date movie? Hmmm.