Haywire Review

Leaving Jolie’s Salt shivering in the corner, Soderbergh’s latest offering is an exercise in how to make great action cinema.

The plot may sound typical; a covert operative is double crossed and must work to uncover a conspiracy. However the delivery is certainly anything but conventional, with a strong female character and art house pretensions.

After using adult actress Sasha Grey in his call girl drama The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh has another piece of genius casting with putting ex MMA fighter Gina Carano into the lead role of Haywire. Unlike most other recent action heroine’s Carano actually looks like she could handle herself rather than shatter upon impact, allowing for more realistic fight scenes. She is also a charismatic actress, have a certain amount of charm despite not being a traditional performer. In the past this has always been an issue with martial artists like Steven Seagal lacking any charm, but Gina Carano is certainly not in this category of disposable action stars. If anything this should act as a springboard for other projects and hopefully a sequel.

She is surrounded by a strong cast of male actors who may all pop up briefly but certainly add to the macho atmosphere. Michael Fassbender perhaps has the most memorable scenes and his fight scene with Carano has to be the best American Cinema has had to offer in years. Despite only having much briefer appearances it’s also good to see veterans such as Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas lend themselves to a project which extends beyond animation. This world of male oppressors certainly creates a troubling world of gender politics, especially as nearly every man in the film is out to kill her.

Despite seeming like a far cry from Ocean’s Eleven, Haywire encompasses much of Soderberghs sleek style, and the 93 minutes running time seems to shoot by. Keeping it short and sweet is exactly what the genre needs, and is certainly what has been missing from the latest Bond offerings.

Haywire is everything a great action movie should be; fast paced, hard hitting and tense. It certainly has made an action star out of Gina Carano and may be just the start of her film career.

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