Over the past couple of years or so Steven Soderbergh has given audiences small film experiments after one of his big time Hollywood releases.
First was the non-actor differently released to multiple formats Bubble in 2006. Next was his porn star Sasha Grey starring picture The Girlfriend Experience. Now we have this one, Haywire, an action spy revenge movie starring MMA star Gina Carano. Like the other this is small genre picture of sorts on a smaller scale than what we’re used to seeing from him but all the while fun to watch.
This film is the story of Mallory Kane, a mercenary that is sent on missions throughout the world to do things for governments that can’t be on the books. After being sent on a mission to Barcelona to grab an exiled Chinese journalist on the run Mallory is sent on another mission to Dublin where her handler betrays her. Now on the run from the authorities she must return to the United States, contact her father and get revenge on all who betrayed her.
One thing you’ll notice about Haywire is that there is not a lot of talking in it. A lot of the action is carried out on-screen and accompanied by the score. This might be because the actress Gina Carano isn’t an experienced actress so he was playing to her strengths but it is noticeable and interesting.
The rest of the actors seem to really enjoy their roles, all men have a good time being over the top, really unlikable, or just maybe not acting at all-we’re looking at you Channing Tatum. But all together it works. Like a kid that mixes up all the food on his plate Soderbergh takes essentially La Femme Nikita, 70’s primetime hour-long dramas, some Out of Sight, and every other Solider betrayed movie into a short 93 minute exercise of smooth action.
And the action, the fight choreography in this is top-notch. Not only can you see that Carano is doing the scene and how good at fighting she is. It also shows it perfectly so that you miss nothing. It’s not cut to fast or in weird angles. These are the type of fight shooting people would like in Nolan’s Batman films.
The other real stands out elements of this film are one the cinematography. It has a beautiful look, shot well like all of his films. He’s one of the best out there using the RED camera in the game right now. He gets some great shots from cool places to have the camera. Also the color of the film is subtle green tint throughout except for certain place in certain countries like the way he used color in Traffic but not as direct. The second element is the score. David Holmes created a sweet style of music that keeps the action moving and tense. As said earlier it has a great 70’s feel that pulses through the hot parts and slows down at the right times at the low parts.
Haywire is a good revenge film. This is a nice little Soderbergh snack for his fans until his next big time release. Gina Carano is pretty good in this and shows a nice sexiness and toughness that you don’t see much on the big screen. It’s worth the time of seeing it.
Final Grade is B+