Film Review: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor in Steven Soderbergh’s Action-Packed ‘Haywire’

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CHICAGO – Steven Soderbergh is one of the few directors who can do whatever the hell he wants. Whatever genre, whomever he casts, whichever story he chooses to tell – he pulls it off. He hasn’t made anything approaching a stumble since 2004’s “Ocean’s Twelve” (and, believe it or not, there have been eight films released since including this one) and his latest, “Haywire,” serves as further evidence that any conversation of the best working directors that doesn’t include him is incomplete. The film is ultimately a bit too thin for its own good, and you’ve seen nearly the entirety of it in the over-saturated previews, but it’s yet-another tightly-directed, expertly-made work from a director who seems to know no other way.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

“Haywire” opens with a beautiful woman named Mallory (Gina Carano, an MMA fighter for whom Soderbergh and writer Lem Dobbs reportedly built this film around) scoping out a snow-covered restaurant. She cases it from a distance, moves in slowly, and slides into a booth. Aaron (Channing Tatum), a man with whom she clearly has a past enters the restaurant and sits across from her. After some tense, mysterious conversation that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, Aaron throws a hot cup of coffee in Mallory’s face and the two start fighting. And I mean FIGHTING. They punch. They kick. They throw each other into booths and stools. And this is one of those films where you feel every blow. It’s the opposite of the modern trend of quick-cut, confusing action choreography.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Haywire” in our reviews section.

Before you can recover from the brutality of the first fight, Mallory has ordered a young man named Scott (Michael Angarano) to help her escape. Mallory is driving, Scott is tending her wounds. It’s the perfect time for a story! Our heroine tells Scott how she got to this position and reveals why they need to be headed to their current destination.

Mallory worked as a secret agent for hire under the leadership of the shady Kenneth (Ewan McGregor), who also happened to be her ex. It’s never a good situation when deadly people break up. Two men named Coblenz (Michael Douglas) and Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas) come to Kenneth with a job – releasing a hostage from his captivity in Barcelona. They demand that the legendary Mallory be a part of the job and we learn that Aaron the coffee hurler was also on the team. Things got a little shaky in Barcelona, but they got their man and seemingly got away smooth. When Mallory went on her next mission, an undercover gig involving the freelance British agent Paul (Michael Fassbender), all hell broke loose. Now, Mallory is on the run and her famous author father (Bill Paxton) may be the only person who can help her.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Haywire” review.

“Haywire” stars Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, Michael Angarano, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, Michael Fassbender, and Antonio Banderas. It was written by Lem Dobbs and directed by Steven Soderbergh. It will be released on January 20th, 2012.

Haywire
Haywire
Photo credit: Relativity Media

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