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Haywire (2011) – Review

1 1/2 Stars


Haywire plays like Steven Soderbergh’s cinematic answer to Paul Greengrass’s Bourne films. As if the Oscar-winning Soderbergh felt he needed to challenge himself by tackling another genre, and once again pulling a good performance out of a first time actor in a lead role. After porn queen Sasha Grey’s casting in The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh has once again employed a pro (albeit, an ex-female MMA fighter) in the charismatic Gina Carano.

Haywire is set in the world of covert agents and government shadow ops in foreign countries. As the film begins Carano is on the run and finds safe harbor in a local cafe, until her former cohorts show up and with a silent brutality, all hell breaks loose. So far, so good. Then the screenplay by scribe Lem Dobbs deteriorates into a series of confused scenes involving characters that appear all too briefly, and events that unfold in a convoluted narrative structure. It’s a good thing that virtually every role has been cast with familiar faces or the story would be impenetrable.

I have a feeling your admiration or indifference to the film will be tested in the opening twenty minutes when a typically standard shoot-out is played with maximum artistic flare. Haywire would make a good double feature with another Euro-inspired action thriller, The American. Steven Soderbergh is the wrong choice to helm this material, his heavy-handed directorial style causes the film to collapse under its own weight.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Gina Carano, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender

2 Responses to Haywire (2011) – Review

  • Good review Jason. Nothing special, but still slick, cool, and pretty fun if you like thrillers that kick ass the right way, with no frills attached.

  • Agreed, a mediocre spy thriller that lacks personality. Antonio Banderas reminded me of the Dos Equis guy.