Haywire: "You Can Tell Me Right Now Why You Sold Me Out, Or You Can Tell Me When I Have My Hands Around Your Throat"

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer:    Lem Dobbs
Starring: Gina Carano
               Michael Fassbender
               Ewan McGregor
               Bill Paxton
               Channing Tatum
               Antonio Banderas
               Michael Douglas
               Michael Agarano 
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now

Director Steven Soderbergh is back with a glossy Hollywood film, filled with lean mean action sequences, as the star of his latest b-movie Haywire to go all out and show of her impressive moves. Gina Carano is best known as a mixed martial arts fighter and uses those gangsta moves to her advantage with this role. She portrays a black ops specialist who 'goes rogue' after being framed for the assassination of a journalist. 

Her dynamic personality translates well to the big screen and, along with a cold icy stare, she makes a pretty believable killer. The storytelling, however, is all over the place and kind of takes away from one of the few good action films around. The best scenes in the film are the ones filled with energy, where the cameras are trying to catch up with their energetic female lead.

For some reason Soderbergh has this habit of jumping around the timeline of the storyline, but for this film it really doesn't work and becomes really distracting. Saying that, it does allow for an intense opener, as the film starts at the middle of the story and grabs your attention with a shocking fight scene played out in a quiet diner between the skulking Mallory Kane (Carano) and her onetime cohort Aaron (Tatum)

Channing Tatum, is clearly very willing to be flipped over, flung around and generally whooped by a girl, which makes a refreshing change from his usual offering of bland beefcake. He shows us a genuine sensitive side too as flashbacks reveal an intimacy that develops between the two during a mission gone wrong.  

Mallory brings the story together for the benefit of her own hostage Scott (Angarano), the owner of a truck that she high-jacks to escape Aaron. It's a clumsy device and the ride is still pretty bumpy, looking back at how she was set up by her  former flame and colleague Kenneth (McGregor), his superior at the CIA (Douglas) and the smouldering Spanish Rodrigo (Banderas). 

McGregor makes clever use of his British charm and comes across as a rather weak and uninteresting character happy to have Mallory decommissioned because she rejected him. Soderbergh could have used this opportunity to have more fun with the sexual politics; instead, Mallory rarely shows a even the slightest hint of emotion. 

What Carano lacks in emotional depth, she makes up for with her spellbinding presence, even while standing still. Of course it's the action sequences where she truly excels, running up walls and bounding across rooftops to punish those who betrayed her. She has credibility as an action heroine that is rarely seen on film, even out-punching the likes Uma Thurman and Angelina Jolie.

Sometimes the fight scenes are pretty difficult to watch as Carano taking the blows just as hard as she dishes them out. The opening fight with Tatum and a one-on-one with Michael Fassbender are especially hard-hitting, but brilliantly shot and clearly choreographed to perfection. If only the story was as strong as Carano, this thriller would have been hard to beat.

Haywire - Trailer